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.
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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?