Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Prison bell tolls

Former Shark Mark Bell, traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Vesa Toskala on June 22nd in exchange for first and second round picks in the 2007 entry draft and a fourth-rounder in '09, was sentenced to six months jail time in a Santa Clara County prison due to a hit-and-run felony and DUI in San Jose that occurred during Labor Day weekend 2006, according to Sportsnet.

Bell was a flop in his only season in teal, perhaps due to the mental toll involved with the hit-and-run, which he pleaded guilty to. GM Doug Wilson was presumably pleased to rid himself of the three years and $6.5 million remaining on Bell's contract, but it remains to be seen whether the cap hit will be taken off Maple Leafs books altogether should the NHL suspend him for the 2007-08 season. I'm also unsure as to whether there is a stipulation in the CBA that removes the cap hit for an incarcerated player.

In other Sharks news, NHL.com has posted training camp schedules for all 30 teams and it appears that the Sharks will set up shop at Logitech Ice in San Jose on September 13th.

UPDATE According to the Toronto Star, the six-month sentence may be the least of Bell's problems as crash victim Jose Luis Villafana has filed a lawsuit seeking "unlimited" damages. Villafana's lawyer Samuel Samaniego is quoted by the Star as saying "We've sued in Superior Court for unlimited. Basically that means we're going to be going for everything." Ouch. To add insult to injury, while Bell will be serving the sentence over the next two off-seasons, it seems that, according to Mirtle, Maple Leafs fans are speculating Bell will be suiting up for the Marlies rather than the Buds.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Great picture, that is the lasting memory of Bell as a Shark: on his knees up against the boards. He was useless as a forward in our style of hockey.