So what's reasonable to expect from Mark Bell as he begins his Maple Leaf career tonight?
Not that being reasonable ever had anything to do with the Leafs when it came to public expectations.
The kid's big, he can skate and he's a former first round draft pick found wanting by two other clubs.
If he turns out to be Todd Warriner, that would be a modest return on the investment the Leafs made by agreeing to take Bell as part of the package that sent Vesa Toskala from San Jose to Toronto. Warriner, the fourth pick of the '92 draft, joined the Leafs in the Mats Sundin deal with Quebec and topped out at 12 goals in a season before ending his career in Finland, Switzerland and Germany.
He was helpful for a time.
But hang on here. Bell was the eighth pick of the '98 draft, but has already scored 20-plus goals twice as an NHLer.
So the expected return should be greater than Warriner, agreed?
If you're the Leafs, you've got to hope Bell can be something roughly equivalent to Alexei Ponikarovsky, hopefully without quite so many dumb hooking infractions in the offensive zone.
Ponikarovsky is a similar size to Bell, also skates well and has 21 goals in each of the past two seasons.
If Bell hits that level, then this trade starts to look like a winner. Indeed, if Bell can play at that level, it could save John Ferguson's job.
An intriguing question is how much slack Bell should be allowed given he'll be playing under the cloud of knowing he'll be going to jail at the end of the season.
Already, Jason Blake has played remarkably well under a more serious cloud, that of cancer. Blake has only scored twice, but he's been a consistent contributor.
We'll learn, I guess, whether Bell can put all that other stuff aside, focus on hockey as an escape and this chance in Toronto as, possibly, his last one as a NHLer. As least an NHLer with a big, one-way contract.