While the hockey world waits in bated breath for Steven Stamkos’ replacement for Team Canada’s Olympic team to be announced (UPDATE: It’s Martin St. Louis), the Toronto Maple Leafs have a big decision on their hands regarding the contract status of one of their own injured centreman.
Dave Bolland is skating and will likely return to the lineup after the Olympic break. The issue here is even if he does return; he’s still probably going to be in significant pain, due to the tendon that was severed in his ankle on November 2.
I agree with James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail that the Leafs need to be cautious with Bolland and not throw him into the proverbial fire too quickly. They also need to be cautious in how they approach contract negotiations for the soon-to-be UFA.
If I’m Dave Nonis, I don’t offer Bolland a deal longer than two years. If he wants longer term, let him walk or see if you can trade him.
Moving on to the Stamkos story, this tweet just came across the wire (at the time of this writing):
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) February 6, 2014
I think Claude Giroux deserves the spot more, and I also thought Eric Staal to be an intriguing option since he had success playing with Sidney Crosby in 2010, but I can’t really complain about the St. Louis pick with the amount of points he’s put up over the last few years.
Speculation will now run rampant, I’m sure, on who will play right wing on Sidney Crosby’s line. Jeff Carter? Rick Nash? Matt Duchene? My guess would be Carter since he’s a pure scorer and has a pretty similar skillset to Stamkos, but we’ll find out soon enough.
If you’re a little late on this whole Stamkos thing, here’s the story from Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press.
Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada published his latest 30 Thoughts piece yesterday. Nothing about the Leafs this week, but there is some interesting trade speculation to chew on.
As we get ready for the men’s hockey portion of the Olympics to kick off in a week, here’s the 10 best NHL Olympians from Sean McIndoe of Grantland.