I’m sure you are all aware by now that the fan voting for the All-Star game has begun over at the official website of the NHL. As such, I’m also sure that you’ve seen the landslide-lead that six Canadiens players have over their competitors that go by names such as “Ovechkin” and “Crosby”. If you are at all an earnest fan of the NHL as a whole, you’ve come to realize how flawed their voting system is for this glorified game of shinny. Regardless of the decreasing importance and excitement of the game, we have seen incidents like the Fitzpatrick-campaign of a few years ago make a laughingstock of the online balloting system. This year gives rise to a new fiasco as all six Canadiens players that were placed on the ballot have taken a runaway lead and do not appear to be in any trouble of relinquishing it.
Mark Bell’s career in Toronto seems to be all but over. The 28-year old from Ontario joined the Leafs along with Vesa Toskala at last year’s draft shrouded under the cloud of an impending DUI sentence. With that cleared up this past summer, many Leaf fans hoped for a revival of the Mark Bell that scored 25 goals in Chicago during the 2005-2006 season. However, it was quite evident that Bell never managed to put it together in training camp or in the exhibition games that the Leafs played.
I would like to begin by thanking Alec for the opportunity he has created here at MLHS. I not only refer to his gracious offer to join his team of bloggers, but to the wider notion of a site where fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and of hockey as a whole can come together to engage in passionate hockey debate. Some of you will know me as TMLShab from HockeyBuzz, the chat boards at MapleLeafs.com and countless other hockey sites.