The Toronto Maple Leafs have already re-signed Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, their once most-pressing UFA’s to be. Now that they are taken care of, the Leafs can now focus on their other future free agents.
One of those future free agents is Dave Bolland. Bolland has been out since the beginning of November after getting a skate blade to the ankle region. Ever since his injury, the Leafs have been in a tailspin.
Now, I’m not saying Bolland returning to the lineup will magically make the Leafs as good as they were in October, but Bolland is glue-type player, a heart and soul guy that probably would have kept the Leafs from falling so far had he not been hurt.
Bolland is most likely the next in line to be re-signed and I think its pretty clear that he will get somewhere between $4 and $4.5 million in his new deal. The question is how long will he be re-signed for?
Not unlike Joffrey Lupul, Bolland is one of those good players that is injury-prone. He has never played a full 82-game season, although the closest it was to happening was the 2008-09 season in which he played 81 games. That injury history should have an impact on how long the Maple Leafs re-up him for.
Of course, that being said, Lupul got a five-year deal a couple of years ago. Now, Bolland isn’t going to light the lamp as much as Lupul, so it’s probably likely that he will get a shorter deal. However, it’s not scoring goals that make Bolland the good player he is.
Bolland is most likely to return to the Leafs lineup after the Olympic break. That means there is plenty of time to negotiate a new deal. Of course, Bolland might want to wait until he’s playing again to see if he can impact how long the contract will be.
So if you were the Leafs general manager…