Shanahan: Bolland is ‘the type of player we need’

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Although a recent report suggested that the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in trading the negotiating rights to pending unrestricted free agent Dave Bolland, it looks like new team president Brendan Shanahan has other plans.

“I’d like to get him signed,” Shanahan said, per the Toronto Sun. “He’s the type of player I like, the type of player we need.

“This is a guy we want to have back. Dave (Leafs GM Nonis) knows I want him back. But any time you are a UFA, there are other factors involved.”

The big factor, unsurprisingly, is money. Exactly how much is Bolland worth? He’s a two-time Stanley Cup winner that’s capable of stepping up in the playoffs. He’s also solid on the third line and can occasionally serve as a top-six forward thanks to his responsible defensive play and decent work offensively. At the same time, an ankle injury limited him to 23 games in 2013-14.

In February, it was reported that Bolland was seeking $5 million annually, up from his previous cap hit of roughly $3.4 million, and as of early April, the two sides were still significantly apart.

Bolland’s agent, Anton Thun, was noncommittal when responding to Shanahan’s comment.

“I’m pleased that Shanny would say something like that,” Thun said. “David has said all along that Toronto definitely is a consideration.

“At the same time, there are other considerations involved here — things such as market value along with other factors.”

So now we’ll wait and see just how much this “need” is worth to the Maple Leafs.