Bell-ville: Ottawa Senators Sign Their AHL Head Coach David Bell to Two-Year Extension

bell-ville: ottawa senators sign their ahl head coach david bell to two-year extension

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The Ottawa Senators announced on Saturday that Belleville Senators Head Coach David Bell has agreed to a two-year contract extension – not a bad way to celebrate the completion of your 20th season in the coaching profession.

Under Bell this season, the B-Sens posted a .569 point percentage, won a playoff game for the first time and also advanced to the second round of the AHL Playoffs for the first time. In the diet version of the Battle of Ontario, the B-Sens eliminated the Toronto Marlies in round one before falling to the Cleveland Monsters in round two.

Bell made his debut as an AHL head coach in February of last season after Trent Mann's curious mid-season firing. Despite missing the playoffs by four points, the interim tag was removed last summer and Bell took over full-time this season.

Ottawa's new management team is expected to make some serious changes to the NHL roster this off-season, but they've already started in on their AHL affiliate.

Along with Bell's re-signing, forwards Angus Crookshank and Cole Reinhardt are both going to be back, signing one-year, two-way deals with the organization. Jiri Smejkal, Jacob Larsson and Lassi Thomson have all returned to Europe to play next season.

While the three departing European players were depth players who could fill in if needed at the NHL level, they were important players for Bell.

Speaking of which, the Senators still have to sort out the futures of several UFAs, including Rourke Chartier, who played 37 games in Ottawa this season; Garrett Pilon, Belleville's top scorer; team captain Dillon Heatherington; and forwards Boko Imama, Matthew Highmore, and Josh Currie. It's also fair to wonder if RFAs like Egor Sokolov, Max Guenette, or Nikolas Matinpalo remain on the radar or not.

Bell has been coaching since 2004 and just completed his 20th year on the job. After a four-year junior career playing with the Ottawa 67s, it's safe to say he also absorbed a coaching nugget or two from playing under Hall of Famer Brian Kilrea for three years.

After Bell bounced around the minors for seven seasons, he hung up the blades in 2004 and moved right into coaching that fall with the Owen Sound Attack.

Since then, he has been an Assistant Coach with the Springfield Falcons (AHL), Barrie Colts (OHL), Quad City Mallards (Head Coach; CHL), Sudbury Wolves (OHL), Niagara Icedogs (OHL), Ontario Reign (AHL), before joining the Belleville Senators as an Assistant Coach for the 2019-20 AHL season.

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