Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For Bell the sentence tolls

Just passed down is the news that former Shark (denial aside, he did wear teal) Mark Bell, who was charged with a DUI/Hit and run last summer, has been sentenced to 6 months in a Santa Clara jail, time he will serve following the 2007/08 season.

Bell was only a Shark for a year, but in a way, I feel bad for the guy. A promising hockey player gets caught up doing something stupid, and could lead down a bad road for himself if he is not careful. However, when I hear this is his third offense of the kind, my sympathy for him shrinks. Screw up once, and it's permissable/forgivable. Screw up twice, and it's slightly crappy. Screw up a third time, and well, sucks to be you, sucks even more to be affiliated with you. There is a lesson to be learned, learning it would be beneficial to all, especially when the lives of other people are involved.

With the ruling coming down on Bell, Doug Wilson's ray of light has tinged just a bit more golden, removing any sort of distraction or circus from the Sharks locker room, something that will most likely follow Bell throughout the year. On the flipside , however, John Ferguson Jr. gains just that much more ineptitude in the eyes of the public when it comes to running a successful team. It was known that taking Bell was the price of getting Toskala, but I'd be shocked if ole JFJ isn't regretting the deal just a tad. Of course, a solid year from Vesa and a return to the playoffs will probably quiet the roar of people calling for his head.

On a happier note, hockey is creeping closer every day. Training camp begins on September 13th, a mere 30 days away. September 18th is the first game of the preseason in LA. After a game on the 19th in Anaheim, the Sharks will play their first home game of the preseason against the very same Ducks on Friday, September 21st, just 38 days away. 51 days from now brings the first game of the regular season, an opening night matchup in Edmonton. And the last one, 60 days from now, the Teal (and orange) will step onto the ice at 525 W. Santa Clara in the first of 41+ meaningful contests to be played on that sheet of ice this season. Hope you wrote that all down, cause I'll only repeat that at the bottom of this post.

Go Sharks (October 13th, why aren't you tomorrow?)

30 days 9/13 Training Camp
35 days 9/18 Sharks @ Kings (first preseason game)
38 days 9/21 Ducks @ Sharks (first home preseason game)
51 days 10/4 Sharks @ Oilers (start of regular season)
60 days 10/13 Bruins @ Sharks (Sharks home opener)


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