When the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks, they were desperate for help at the center position. Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland were out with injuries. They were using James van Riemsdyk as the center on the first line, effectively limiting his usefulness.
So when Holland came into the Leafs lineup, the team’s first line played better somewhat. Holland was able to be at least a reliable replacement on the first line. When Bozak returned, Holland continued to play well on the second line.
The question with Holland has always been about how the Leafs acquired him. They sent a conditional third-round pick to the Ducks. The condition was if that Holland played at least 25 games with the Leafs, the pick would become a second-round pick. He recently played his 25th game with the Leafs so the Ducks are getting a second-rounder.
The problem is that the Leafs have a loyalty to Nazem Kadri that causes them to give him the second-line spot the majority of the time. With his recent slump, their has been a lot of pressure on Kadri to shape up or ship out.
The other problem is that the Leafs are now giving up a second-round for a player they don’t what to do with now. Holland had a stint playing on the fourth line, playing between Frazer McLaren and Jerry D’Amigo. You don’t give up a second-round pick for a fourth-liner.
After having a two-game stint with the Toronto Marlies in which he scored three goals, he was recalled and is now playing on the third-line. He hasn’t disappointed there either, bringing some offense to that line.
The problem for Holland is that that whenever Dave Bolland comes back, Holland will be out of a job again. He will then probably be sent back to the Marlies. Again, this a player we gave up a second-round pick for.
The Leafs may have a choice to make as to who they want their second line center to be: Kadri or Holland? I don’t their talent level is that much different as they were only drafted eight picks apart in which there were only three forwards taken in that span, none of them centers like Kadri and Holland.
So with all that said…