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I wonder if plays hurt a lot. Every time he steps on the ice he draws the attention of an opposing power forward. I think that is why so many breakouts happen on his watch. He is a top 3 checking center for sure.
Jim, Excellent assessment and you are quite correct that just about every other Hawk blog out there has Bolland (along with Hammer) as likely trade bait. And I’m like you, I fear what the consequences might be to this team if the Hawks actually went ahead with it. The “problem” with moving a player like Bolland are all of the intangibles he brings. For him, the numbers will never tell the story (and that’s why his salary, although a bit high for a third line center, can’t be looked at in isolation either). Would the Hawks have knocked off the Canucks in back-back series without him? No way. And look at how his return last year almost single-handedly allowed the Hawks to force a game 7 OT against those same Canucks (after the Hawks lost the first 3 games without him). He’s a special kind of player and while I like Kruger a lot, I just don’t know if he can, either now or even over time, ever replace Bolland. As you say it would have to be a calculated risk and only if the return was truly meaningful. The flip side is that he just came off an injury-free season so his valuable is probably at peak. And I can’t think of any team (other than the Canucks and only because of the Rat’s comments earlier this year!) that wouldn’t want him. But then if you have a player that everybody else would love to have on their team….doesn’t that tell you something?