BELL FINISHES THIRD IN COACH OF THE YEAR VOTING
Mallards coach and general manager David Bell has finished third in Central Hockey League Coach of the Year voting.
In just his first year as a head coach Bell has led the Mallards to a 36-26-2 record and 74 points. The Mallards have already this season won more games and piled up more points than any Mallard team has since 2006-07 and enter the final weekend of the regular season still in contention for a playoff berth.
An aggressive, attacking style of play installed by Bell has resulted in the Mallards scoring the second most goals in the CHL this season.
In balloting by his fellow CHL coaches, Bell received three first place votes and finished behind only Kevin McClelland of Wichita and Rich Kromm of Evansville.
Prior to taking over behind the Quad City bench, Bell, 34, spent seven seasons as an assistant coach in the professional and junior ranks. He served as an assistant with the Ontario Hockey Leagueís Barrie Colts from 2009 to 2011. Last year he worked alongside Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuck, the Coltsí head coach. In 2009-10 Bell helped steer Barrie to the OHL regular season title and an Eastern Conference championship as the club eclipsed franchise records for most wins (57) and points (116) in a single season. Prior to that, the Wiarton, Ontario, native enjoyed a two-year stint behind the bench of the American Hockey Leagueís Springfield Falcons. Bell began his coaching career with the OHLís Owen Sound Attack, for whom he was an assistant from 2004 to 2007.
Before stepping behind the bench, Bell, a defenseman, enjoyed a seven-year professional playing career during which he scored 29 goals, produced 114 points and accumulated 1,188 penalty minutes while skating in 465 games for nine teams in the ECHL, AHL, United Hockey League, and West Coast Hockey League. In 2001-02 he captained the Greenville Grrrowl to the ECHL Kelly Cup title.
Bell broke into pro hockey at the end of the 1997-98 season with the ECHLís Louisville RiverFrogs. He spent the following season- his first full pro campaign- in the same league with the Miami Matadors. Bell played for three different teams in 1999-2000- the Falcons of the AHL, the B.C. Icemen of the UHL and the Greenville Grrrowl of the ECHL. Bell returned to the Grrrowl in 2000-01- a campaign that also saw him take to the ice for a trio of AHL clubs- the Falcons, Portland Pirates and St. John Flames- before hoisting the Kelly Cup in his third season with the Grrrowl. He headed west to suit up for the WCHLís Bakersfield Condors in 2002-03 and established a personal single season high in points (30) while wrapping up his playing career with the UHLís Port Huron Beacons in 2003-04.
Before turning pro, Bell played for the OHLís Ottawa 67ís for four seasons and served as team captain for each of his final two junior campaigns. While wearing the ďCĒ in 1996-97, Bell led the 67ís to the regular season league title and a berth in the OHL Robertson Cup finals. The following season he captained Ottawa to a division title.