Brendan Bell likes fact Ottawa 67's traded for Brendan Bell

Dec 03, 2012 - 09:44 GMT

The original Brendan Bell was pleased to see another one acquired by the 67’s in a trade earlier this week.

“That’s exciting,” he said. “Nice to have my name in the news.”

Truth is, his name would have been in the news a day earlier had the writer gone a little longer on a Jared Cowen story. Two weeks past hip surgery, Cowen is supposed to be out of action for 6-8 months, but he’s unsure of how long it’ll be until he’s 100% healthy.

The Senators defenceman looks to Bell, a 29-year-old who also played for the Senators (as well as the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Coyotes and a few AHL teams after his standout career with the 67’s) for encouragement.

Bell is now skating with locked-out NHLers in Ottawa as he attempts his own comeback from hip surgery done six months ago by the same doctor who repaired Cowen.

“His was a little bit more severe, he had a couple more things done,” said Cowen. “But he says it feels fine, which is good to see. He looks good out there skating.”

Like Cowen, Bell had labral repair done. He also had bone resurfacing and micro-fracture surgery on the hip.

“A little bit of everything,” said Bell. “It was extensive. They said it’s a 6-8 month recovery, and in all expectation I probably won’t be good for a year. When everything is sealed up it’s going to be a heckuva lot better than it was.”

Bell was actually on the ice, taking it slow, when his friends began their informal workouts a couple of months ago. Recently, he has turned up his effort level, even doing double shifts of wind sprints as the group practised with the Carleton Ravens on Monday.

“It’s coming along, feeling better and better, week by week,” said Bell, named both the OHL and CHL top defenceman in 2003. “There are still some little things I’ve got to work out.

“I think it’s just a matter of time, getting back into a routine and getting back to full-tempo practices. That’s why (practices with Carleton) are great. They’ve been pretty kind to us, letting us come out. I’m thankful for that.

“I’m trying to get in as much as I can. Numbers are dwindling with the pro

guys, so take the ice and take the skates when you can get them. I haven’t had that many bad days, thankfully, to this point, so when I’m feeling good I try to get as much out of it as I can.

“Hopefully, it’s a matter of weeks now, not months.”

Bell played one game with the Rangers last season — the rest with their AHL farm team in Connecticut, where he scored seven goals and 26 assists in 65 games. He is now without a contract.

“I’ve had a number of calls, a couple of teams that want me to sign and go right now, a couple of teams that want me for Jan. 1,” said Bell, whose wife Monika gave birth three weeks ago to Emmy, a sister for almost-two-year old Jack. “But it’s hard to know when I’ll be fully healthy.

“I wake up some days and think, ya, I’m ready to play. And then there are days I feel like I still need some time. I’ve never gone through something like this and I can see how it’s difficult now.”

In the meantime, he’ll keep an eye on Brendan Bell — the 18-year-old forward the 67’s picked up from Barrie and made his debut Friday in Plymouth.

“From what I gather, he’s a much different player than me,” said the original. “He probably has more fighting majors in a weekend than I do in a season. If nothing else, my little guy will get to see my name on a 67’s jersey again.

“I just hope he has as much fun here in Ottawa with the 67’s as I did. It’s a heckuva experience and a lot of fun.Playing for an organization like the 67’s is a treat. Hopefully, he enjoys it.”