From Tim Wharnsby of the Globe & Mail:
The New York Rangers will have a new face behind the bench, when they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, and a new face on the roster.
John Tortorella will make his debut as Rangers coach and his new team also picked up forward Mark Bell on re-entry waivers. Bell, 28, is not expected to suit up agians the Leafs. He has spent the season with the Leafs farm club, the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, and had 12 goals and 27 points in 56 games.
Last week, Rangers general manager Glen Sather asked his Toronto counterpart Brian Burke about whether Bell could help the struggling Rangers. Burke felt Bell would help the sliding New York team, which fired coach Tom Renney after the Leafs beat the Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Sunday.
First off, from a Leafs fan perspective you have to be ecstatic that Brian Burke was able to get half of Mark Bell’s inflated salary off the books. That gives the Leafs $1.25 million more with which to play in the summer.
As for the Rangers, they are looking for some physical players and Bell is a gritty player who will go to the net. But considering his numbers in the AHL (27 points in 56 games) he is hardly a savior. Once again, you have to wonder why the Rangers would be willing to give Bell a chance at that money (possibly Avery as well) but wouldn’t pay anything to a solid veteran like Brendan Shanahan…