You're laughing at him yet I'm sure most Blackhawks fans would agree with Eb.
Yet their coach decided to throw skilled guys around him. He was most effective with Havlet and Ladd. To have him grinding in the defensive zone - especially for >10 minutes - is probably going to get him injured as well.
If Bolland is easy top 6 quality, then why would the Blackhawks trade for Handzus and give him Bolland's spot and drop Bolland down to the third line?
He didn't work out. Much like Lupul didn't work out. We moved a large number of pieces to acquire him. There are a good number of draft picks who can develop into checking line centres who grind top guys in our zone. Heck, Bolland doesn't even play that kind of game.
You're not going to be spending $3.375 million on a checking forward. Unless we've won cups multiple times in a decade, our bottom six should be shed. That's what Chicago did, and that's what Boston is going to be doing with Kelly ( as was done with Peverley). I can see us trying him out with Havlet/Ladd/ Kane-esque skilled guys to see if he can produce under tougher minutes.
JVR - Bolland - Kulemin for instance wouldn't be an unusual line combination. During the playoffs, we saw JVR spending more time with Grabovski ( on the shut down line) than McClement. Randy wasn't trying to sabotage McClement's career, but instead replaced him with someone more productive in that role. Besides Bolland GWG had Frolik on the line and he's certainly not a working class bruiser forward.
You're laughing at him yet I'm sure most Blackhawks fans would agree with Eb. In fact, a lot of them have said as much. They haven't discredited what Bolland brought to their team but acknowledged that he was a much better fit playing bottom 6 than top 6. Some considered that it might have been injuries that slowed him down and made him less effective in the top 6. If Bolland is easy top 6 quality, then why would the Blackhawks trade for Handzus and give him Bolland's spot and drop Bolland down to the third line?
I think expecting Bolland to be a legitimate top 6 is placing lofty expectations on him. Similar to the expectations of Versteeg when he was acquired. Many would argue (and perhaps you should consider), that Bolland's top 6 role on the Blackhawks was a matter of convenience than it was of desire - which is why they acquired Handzus. It's a similar situation with Bozak. He isn't an ideal 1C but he's the best option we have...doesn't mean he'd be a 1C on most teams.
Was Bolland not playing top 6 minutes before his injury?
May I remind you that Kulemin was one of our more productive 5v5 players last year. Pretty effective "Black hole".
Kulemin and Bolland will form 2/3rds of a solid checking shutdown line next year, used by Carlyle effectively to help reduce the goals against .. Offense will not be their prime objective, but I expect they will chip in occasionally.
Carlyle also loves McClement and he would be the most logical 3rd member at this time to complete the trio.
It will be the closest thing to a former Ducks trio of Moen -- Phalsson -- Niedermeyer checking unit when Carlyle won the Cup.
Signature: There is no greater demonstration of Fan patience then to suggest to "Play the Kids " and be willing to accept the consequences of those actions..