May 19, 2016

Herbert Bell

Herbert "Huddy" Bell loved playing sports and doing business.

As a youth growing up in Regina he grew up playing any and every sport, most notably hockey, football, and automobile and motorbike racing.

He was also a very entrepreneurial type, selling chocolate bars and delivering newspapers as a kid. By the time he was 13 he quit school and hopped a freight train to Ontario where he worked in a bush camp as a welder and truck driver. He also bought and sold cars.

By 1943 Bell returned to Regina to play junior hockey with Commandos, challenging for the Memorial Cup.

Bell would lose a season of hockey in 1944-45 as he served in Canada's military. When he returned he headed to New York to begin a six year professional career that also saw stops in Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest.

During his rookie season with the New York Rovers, he was called upon by the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. They needed a defenseman to fill in for a night of duty due to an injury on their blue line. Bell got the chance, and even scored an assist in what proved to be his only NHL game.

By 1952 Bell had returned to Regina and continued to play senior hockey, helping the Regina Caps reach the Allan Cup tournament in 1953. He also played in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he was a lineman despite his modest size.

After venturing into the horse meat business with shops in Toronto and Hamilton, Bell focused most of his business ventures back in Regina. He opened Stampede Motors where he continued to sell cars, and the Bell City Motel. He later bought a second hotel and establishing a strong business of property and land development in Regina, Saskatoon, and his new second-home Phoenix, Arizona.

By the 1980s Huddy worked with the United States federal government acquiring land for national parks while continuing his private property development deals right up until his death in 2009. He was 83.

He never forgot his hometown, often returning to Regina. In the 1980s Bell was part of the Regina Pats (WHL) ownership group.

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