Less than a week after scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal, Dave Bolland is on the move.
The Chicago center is on his way to Toronto after a draft-day trade — the Leafs gave the ‘Hawks their 51st and 117th overall selections from this year’s draft, and a fourth-rounder at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Bolland, 27, had 7G-7A in 35 games last year, missing time late in the season and through the early parts of the playoffs with groin and foot injuries.
The Toronto native is heading into the final season of his five-year, $16.875 million deal, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $3.375 million.
The move makes a lot of sense from both sides.
Chicago had reportedly been shopping Bolland throughout the week. His deal will expire next summer and, given Chicago’s financial future — the ‘Hawks are tight to the cap — getting him back in the Windy City would’ve been difficult.
For Toronto, the move addresses a general lack of talent/depth at center. It also acts as a potential safeguard in the event the Leafs can’t reach a new deal with UFA forward Tyler Bozak, who was the club’s No. 1 this year.
That might seem cold, but it’s also a reality of pro sports. Teams want to do whatever they can to win and with the salary cap in mind, now might be a good time for the Blackhawks to see if they can sell Bolland while his value is high.
With that in mind, the 27-year-old was very diplomatic when confronted with the reports.
“I’d love to be back here next year, but whatever happens, happens,” he told CSN Chicago. “It’s the NHL. Trades happen. I’d love to be back here, I love Chicago. But it’s a game and this is what can happen.”
In the meantime, Bolland will get a chance to enjoy what he’s accomplished.
“I don’t think it has (sunk in yet). It’s still just roaming around in the air that I scored that,” Bolland said. “I still look back at it and I still can’t believe it. It’s every kid’s dream to score that goal, and I did it. It’s big, and I’ll ride it right now.”
Dave Bolland is a solid third-line center who can step up as a second liner when the need arises. He’s also the guy who scored the Stanley Cup winning goal this week.
And it sounds like Chicago is looking to trade him, according to TSN and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Bolland comes with a $3,375,000 cap hit in 2013-14 and he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after that. It’s possible that the Blackhawks don’t feel confident in their chances of re-signing him and consequently want to move him now while his value is high, but they might also be doing this with an eye to the future.
Before the start of the 2015-16 campaign, they will need to re-sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, and Corey Crawford, among others. Most, if not all of those players will be looking for meaningful raises, so GM Stan Bowman might be thinking proactively about the team’s cap needs.
Boston Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask didn’t hold back.
Following a highly emotional night, Rask let it be known exactly how he felt about a Torey Krug turnover that led to the Dave Bolland goal at the eight-minute mark of the third period that began the Chicago Blackhawks’ comeback, on their way to a 4-3 triple overtime victory in Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
According to a tweet from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Rask called it a “terrible turnover” that led to the Bolland goal.
Krug had become something of a media darling in these playoffs. He stands only 5’9″ and had all of three NHL regular season games under his belt prior to the post-season.
Apparently the league did review the play, which didn’t result in a penalty on the ice.
It’s not clear why the league chose to give Penner a pass. That Bolland wasn’t injured was likely a factor. Perhaps the league felt it was a penalty, but not an offense that rose to the level of supplemental discipline. Or, for you cynical types, maybe it was an even-up no-call after Bolland’s hit that hurt Mike Richards in Game 1.
Penner/Bolland: A reflex forearm prior to a collision. Not predatory. Not retaliatory. No history. No Supplemental Discipline.