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Report: Maple Leafs struggle with Bolland’s $5M asking price

Feb 25, 2014, 9:22 PM EDT

Carolina Hurricanes v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have given Dave Bolland rave reviews in his short time with the team – at least in rare moments of health – but retaining his services might prove too costly.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Bolland is looking for $5 million per year (maybe more) in a contract extension while the Leafs are leaning more toward the $4 million range, as Dreger compares the “difficult” negotiations to the talks they went through with Tyler Bozak. Such an asking price might just prompt a trade.

The 27-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Bolland’s current cap hit is $3.375 million. He just returned to Maple Leafs practice from that severed tendon injury on Feb. 21.

If these negotiations force a trade, Dreger reports that GM Dave Nonis seeks a top-four defenseman or top-nine forward. It sounds like he wants a player with term on his contract rather than a “rental” player.

The question of Bolland’s value could be interesting. When healthy, he’s fit in well in Toronto, scoring 10 points in 15 games while impressing head coach Randy Carlyle with his work ethic. It’s also true that he does a lot of things that don’t show up in box scores (and by “things” one sometimes means “agitating opponents to the point of sometimes taking bad penalties”).

On one hand, he didn’t always put up great numbers despite being surrounded by talented teammates in Chicago; on the other, he’s one of those rare players who has “Stanley Cup-winning goal” on his resume.

It remains to be seen if that resume ends up impressive enough to land him a new deal with the Leafs or instead prices him out of Toronto and onto another roster (either at the deadline or as a free agent this summer).

Here’s the full TSN’s Insider Trading segment.

  1. areaman714 - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    3.75 at the most.

  2. 19to77 - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Oh, NOW they have problems paying a 40-point scorer $5 million-plus.

    • tdrusher225 - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      Hey better late than never, they say insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, and any other cliches you can think of.

  3. esracerx46 - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Top nine forward with term…Bryan Bickell for Dave Bolland plus pick. Bickell has underwhelmed this year. last year was a career year, and even then he made his money in the playoffs. Hawks have Jeremy Morin toiling in the minors who I think could replace Bickell. Bolland is not worth 5.

    • withseidelinn - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:36 AM

      So a complete salary dump for the Hawks and the Leafs get a worse player? Makes sense…

      • dueman - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        don’t forget the “plus pick” he added…lol

      • beergold - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        esracerx46: Don’t worry the Dooman has zero interest for anyones opinion other than his own…well maybe his Mom’s when she calls him up from the basement for supper!

        withseidelinn: Given the Leafs history of trade and signing laughs I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see them do something a little crazy again!

        The Leafs problem with Bolland right now is that after an injury like his many many players don’t come back to their original level of play and $5 million is hard to swallow until they see if he is the same player.
        If he comes back and is strong and able to play the way he did, and given the numbers other Leaf players are getting, I don’t think Bolland is too far out on his asking price. (if he can still play his game)

      • beergold - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Just read on TSN Hockey: Bolland has setback with injury ….skating but with a practise jersey only. Nonis says he is willing to let Bolland play out his current contract.

        Tells me that Bolland is a long way from game ready and Nonis is doing the prudent thing in NOT entering into any kind of new contract until the Leafs are 100 % sure he will get back as the same player.

  4. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Feb 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Yep… this is pretty much how negotiations work. Bolland’s agent asks for a high number, Nonis offers low number, they end up meeting somewhere in the middle.

    • esracerx46 - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      Ryan Callahan.

  5. leafsilluminati - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    He’s a winner, and an Ontario boy! Get’er done!

  6. flash8910 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Another delusional SOB. 1 40+ point season 6 years ago, and he is a $5 million a year guy.

    I don’t know if it’s the players or the agents, but there is something in the water in the NHL.

  7. bsaures - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Even if he comes back to what he was before the injury he isnt worth 5 million nevermind the fact he is hurt very often.

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