Leafs demote, disappoint Bell

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Brendan Bell has yet to play a game for the Maple Leafs and already the defenceman is getting jerked around by the club.

Excited on Monday morning with the thought of playing in his first National Hockey League game last night at the Air Canada Centre, Bell departed the same building yesterday morning with his hockey bag over his shoulder and a bundle of sticks in his hand, somewhat surprised at the sudden change of events.

After being called up by the Leafs on Monday, Bell was returned to the Toronto Marlies yesterday.

"I'm disappointed but hopefully I will get another shot," said Bell, who kept his emotions in check. "They want to go with guys with experience."

Instead of the 22-year-old Bell making his NHL debut last night, Maple Leafs head coach Pat Quinn opted to go with Wade Belak on the blue line.

It makes one wonder why Bell was recalled in the first place.

Bell was in Philadelphia with the Marlies for a game Sunday night and learned afterward he was being called up. He got about two hours of sleep and was on a flight at 6 a.m. Monday morning to Toronto, arriving at the ACC in time for practice.

At that point, Bell was made to understand he would play last night and clearly was enthused.

About five hours after the Leafs sent out a release late Monday afternoon announcing officially that Bell had been recalled, he was told by the club he would be going back to the minors.


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