The New York Rangers have announced the signing of former Ottawa defenseman Brendan Bell today. The 6’1″ 205 lb defenseman played last season in the Swiss leagues and one game in the KHL, scoring 11 points (2g, 9a) with 14 PIMs in 29 games. The last time Bell saw NHL action was in 2008-2009 with the Senators, playing in 53 games and finished with 21 points (6g 15a) and 24 PIMs. Bell spent all of the 2009-2010 season in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen and the Syracuse Crunch.
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Terms of the deal are not known but it’s wise to think the Brendan Bell signing is a direct counter move by the Rangers losing Mikhail Pashnin to the KHL after believing they struck a deal to bring him to North America. At 28, Bell will serve as a veteran presence either with the Rangers if one of Tim Erixon/Michael Del Zotto falter in camp or down in Connecticut to prospects such as Pavel Valentenko and Tomas Kundratek.
If you want to let your inner conspiracy theorist come out, with all the defensive depth the Rangers have, signing Bell could be a precursor to a bigger move on the horizon. It’s not very likely to go down that route but it is always nice to have a dream every now and then. The lineup you see is the lineup you’ll be getting come Opening Night UNLESS something falls into Glen Sather’s lap.
I wonder what SenShot would have to say about Brendan Bell (if they even remember who he is)…