Finally, Mark Bell has come back to the NHL. The Anaheim Ducks have signed Bell to a one-year deal, allowing the former first round pick another shot at the NHL. Bell last played in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 35 games in 2007-08. He made headlines in the summer of 2006 for all the wrong reasons when he was arrested following a drunk driving/hit-and-run incident. Bell was suspended for 15 games without pay prior to the start of the 2007-08 season, he faced six months in a California jail but ended up working with a prison crew in the summer of 2008.
Of course, Bell’s return to the NHL hinges on him earning a spot with the Ducks. He had previously tried out with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009, but failed to crack the roster. Bell spent the last two season with Kloten of the Swiss National League A, scoring 29 goals in 80 games. He also suited up for Canada at the Spengler Cup in both 2009 and again in 2010.
An 8th overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1998, Bell scored 72 goals in his first 327 games before a trade sent him to San Jose in 2006. Bell turns 31-years old in August.