Dave Bolland Contract Extension is No Easy Call

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Dave Bolland
Dave Bolland

Some Leafs news making the rounds last night as it pertains to Dave Bolland’s contract situation: Darren Dreger floated a five million dollar asking price on TSN’s Insider Trading.

Don’t get too caught up on “rumoured asking prices,” because they’re often inexact to put it mildly (Dreger reported $6+ million on David Clarkson a day or two before free agency). More than anything, it has to be a wait and see approach with Bolland. There’s no reason why the Leafs can’t reevaluate this situation come season’s end, after they’ve seen the aftermath of the injury recovery and after they’ve seen what he can do over (hopefully) 37 regular season games plus any playoff games as opposed to 15 October games. When approaching a contract of potentially four or five years in length, it should go without saying that 15 games mean basically nothing. It certainly isn’t enough to know if Bolland slots in as a complementary piece, which the Leafs need to take a hard line with and prepare for the possibility of losing rather than adding another long-term contract to their books, or a core piece for this team in the long run. How well does he recover and how big of a role does he play for Randy Carlyle down the stretch and into the playoffs?

Dave Bolland signed his existing contract, a five-year, $3.375 million (AAV) deal, before the 2009-10 season when the cap was $56.8 million; that’s about 5.9% of the cap. The same deal under the current $64.3 million cap is $3.8 million. Under a $70.2 million cap, which is what the cap will be during the first year of his next contract, it would be $4.1 million. He’s won two Cups since signing the contract, scoring 8 goals and 16 points during the first winning run and the Stanley-Cup winning goal during the second (after a much quieter playoff run and poor season overall). Hurting his case is his inability to stay healthy, playing just 226 of a possible 356 games (just 63.4% of total games, or an average of 52 out of 82 games), and the fact that the offensive promise shown in the 2008-09 season as a 22-year-old, when he posted 19 goals and 47 points (career highs), was never achieved again let alone built upon during the contract. Nevertheless, he signed that contract as an RFA under a $56.8 million cap.

Given his UFA leverage, a rising cap and his two rings since (including 17 goals and 43 points in 67 playoff games), it seems optimistic to think Bolland can be had for less than $4 million even if the Leafs give him the term he wants. Is Tyler Bozak money the best the Leafs can hope for with this player? It’s a guessing game, and for all we know a hometown discount might factor in to some extent. As Anthony pointed out, though, the Leafs could soon find themselves with the one of the most expensive forward corps in a year’s time once Nazem Kadri is due up for a contract, and we can question whether or not it would be strong enough down the middle to justify that (the goal is winning a Cup, remember). Meanwhile, the Leafs have been getting their excellent goaltending at a bargain price (that won’t last much longer) and their defence is pretty young, incomplete, in need of improvement, and soon to be in need of some new contracts.

It’s shaping up to be the most difficult contract negotiation with an in-house player Dave Nonis has had to face as Maple Leafs GM.


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Tomorrow is the first Leafs game day in three weeks!

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks

  • Mind Bomb

    hoolihan  Sup Bro, one more sleep lol

  • Mind Bomb

    hoolihan   He has to be aware of all this though, He knows the Leafs are tight to the Cap, at the end of the Day, he has his Cup, he just made close to 17 mil over the last 5 years, and has a chance to play in his home town to finish his carreer, If he does approach this reasonable he is an Idiot, and can go make a mil more playing in Edmonton, or Buffalo, cause no contender has room for him

  • B_Leaf

    I think part of the question with Bolland has to be comparitive value and replacement options. For example, who is more valuable David Clarkson or Dave Bolland, and so on. The replacement for Bolland right now is Peter Holland…Is that a good switch for a team trying to become a cup contender?  What about if one of our high priced wingers like Clarkson were moved in a trade? Who could replace him? Production wise it wouldn’t be hard. Style wise Komarov does a lot of things better. If we are looking for a top six physical type, Josh Leivo is a financially viable option opening cap space for other positions on the team.

    By the end of the season and hopefully the playoffs we will have a better idea of each players value. At this juncture I like the Leafs top 3 centers and do not see a viable option in the system to replace any of them, even though I do like Peter Holland and see the potential. Letting Bolland walk leaves us exposed if we do not have a plan B.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Have to believe that Nonis tells Bolland’s agent that if he wants anything north of $3.75 million, then he will have to wait until the end of the season to negotiate.  It would be incredibly reckless to sign any contract while Bolland’s status is unclear.  Of course, the real aggaravtion for Leafs fans is that waiting means the Leafs may be forced to watch Bolland walk away without recouping any of the assets traded to obtain him.  But that is a result of the injury IMO, and no fault for that rests with Nonis.
    But losing Bolland for nothing would be preferable to signing  him to anywhere near $5 million right now.

  • MaxwellHowe

    B_Leaf I don’t envy Nonis here.  Tough choices to be made.  Signing Bolland to a contract over $4 million makes signing Kulimen and Franson very challenging to say the least.  And even if he manages to sign all three, good luck trying to upgrade when they’re once again right up against the cap.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Bolland is going to get around 4 million per.  Give or a take a few ducats.

    Time to start exploring the trade market to get rid of the real shitty contracts we have.  Guys who are sucking up Cap Space but arent worth a tinkers damn and you know who they all are.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Mind Bomb Hey brother.  Another day of the same arguments.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    And the fact that Subban didnt do fuck all in the tournament and managed to forever link his huge head into the middle of the team picture is pissing me off.

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook lets be subtle.  I’ll spell his name backwards.  Lupul.

  • B_Leaf

    MaxwellHowe  

    It is hard to get a value on UFA’s right now…Last year with the cap pinch the Leafs were able to get Bozak at a very fair price, whereas they way over payed for Clarkson. Not all teams will be cap locked this time and could easily offer Bolland $5M. How much does he like it here?

  • Mind Bomb

    B_Leaf   Morning B_leaf its not all about the Player its about the Cap as well, without the cap, Bolland would have already been signed to 5 x 5, MLSE will spend money. 

    So its Holland plus the Cap savings used on Upgrading say Gunnar vrs Bolland, its not weither Holland can replace Bolland right away. Its is the Difference between Holland and Bolland enough to warrant give up the idea of improving our real problem, Defense

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Here is what the Greek is saying.
    https://twitter.com/RealKyper https://twitter.com/RealKyper/status/438659511901880321
    Bolland seeking 7 or 8 yr https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash exten’ that could max out over 40m. Is he worth it? Tune into HC @ noon for the latest. FAN590 https://twitter.com/Sportsnet

  • MaxwellHowe

    B_Leaf MaxwellHowe apparently it will take $5 million to get him to stay.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    MaxwellHowe LOL.  I did the same thing and yes you are 100% correct.

  • Burtonboy

    TheCanucksnaphook  Good grief . Silly season is now in full swing

  • wendelsfist

    TheCanucksnaphook  I refuse to dial into the Fan if they peddle  this kind of crap

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook no way, that can’t be true.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Burtonboy Oh its going to be insanity, and fun to watch with ZERO expectations.

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy TheCanucksnaphook   Hhaha Brutal. Didnt he just Take out Kadri;s name and insert Bollands, he is recycling tweets from last year lol

  • B_Leaf

    Mind Bomb B_Leaf  

    That is it exactly. With the D do you hope that the collective growth of Rielly and Gardiner improve our D significantly?

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    CanuckUKinToronto I was thinking that number x4 years.  I know he will want security but he is also a 3rd line C with ability to move up.  Gotta be careful how many long term contracts an organization gives up.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto TheCanucksnaphook  And it likely won’t get done till after the season . Same thing he did with Bozak

  • B_Leaf

    MaxwellHowe B_Leaf  

    This team really needs to hang on to the 2 way players they have and maybe add one or two.

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook MaxwellHowe any other candidates?  whose names are not palendromes ?(I think thats the term)

  • http://www.unclejakescards.ca/ unclejakescards

    5×8 for bolland !! woahhhhhhh , scarry

  • mlclearwater

    Christ, I don’t care what people say about the leafs cap situation this summer, Nonis has some super tough negotiations coming up and we are going to let some quality players walk for free cause Nonis won’t trade anyone at the deadline.  
    For a team that is ‘weak up the middle’ if we let him walk we’ll be looking for help again and will have to pay via FA or trade. TOugh spot. Holland has potential but so did Jo Colborne and John mitchell for fack sakes

  • Mind Bomb

    B_Leaf Mind Bomb   Nope, I I dont pin my whole organizational plan, on Hope lol

  • MaxwellHowe

    B_Leaf MaxwellHowe Generally I agree.  Two many offence first guys who neither battle along the boards nor backcheck.  i’m not going to fault Kessel because he is a big time scoring machine (who actually is developing more and more into a two way player), but other guys don’t produce enough to justify their soft play and poor defensive contribution

  • B_Leaf

    TheCanucksnaphook  

    That picture had to be embarrassing to habs fans

  • mlclearwater

    unclejakescards  ya thats just fucked, kypreos has a touch of the downs

  • B_Leaf

    mlclearwater  

    Holland is a legit player but you are totally right. We need Bolland or equal up the middle to contend.

  • Mind Bomb

    MaxwellHowe Mind Bomb   Aye, but then I would not have it any other way, I love arguing nicely with all you guys, its better than work, better than TV most of the Time, etc.

    And remember Max, 4 years ago we had 23 roster spots to fill and argue about, more content, more variety, now however, we have what 3 or 4 bottom roster spots to argue about lol

  • Mind Bomb

    mlclearwater unclejakescards   I would bet real money he would get that from a couple teams in UFA, Pheonix, Edm, Win, Nash, etc Lots of Bubble teams would consider Bolland a missing peice :)

  • Mind Bomb

    B_Leaf mlclearwater  We just got done a stretch of what 12-2-1 without Bolland, upgrade our D :)

  • wendelsway1

    Good Morning Gents……not too worried about a Bolland signing….like Nonis has said in the past, if the player wants to be here and Nonis wants him here, they’ll find a way to get him signed that will be mutually beneficial to both parties.   Get him signed, Nonis…..we need him.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Mind Bomb mlclearwater unclejakescards trade him to Phoenix now for Yandle.  Just throwing that out there, no idea if the Coyotes woudl go for it.

  • B_Leaf

    Last year going into the playoffs I felt like our group of centers were better than given credit, and I think the same this year with a healthy Bolland.

    Bozak, Kadri, and Bolland won’t blow any one away with size but you have three quality 2 way C’s who can all play in any kind of game. Bozak is under rated…he went toe to toe with Bergeron last year and as far as I’m concerned out played him till he was hurt….not an easy task…ask Sid.  Kadri is another year older and he can up his game, he is also an elite PP guy in my opinion. Kadri will be good down the stretch and into the playoffs. Bolland if healthy can play the game so smart shutting down good players and still add some offence.

    This is a good group…it will be interesting to see what damage they can do over the next 2 or 3 months.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    B_Leaf  I am not worried about our C’s at all if Bolland can come back healthy.

  • Mind Bomb

    MaxwellHowe Mind Bomb mlclearwater unclejakescards  

    See it does not have to Be Yandle, but yes thats what I am suggesting, a D upgrade with that cap

  • Mind Bomb

    wendelsway1   Morning WW :)

  • Cameron19

    I think that is really over-stating Bolland’s worth to just talk about the Cups between contracts. There are other factors. He hasn’t been healthy, even before this potentially career-altering injury. Outside of the 15 games he played here for us, he had been declining for some time.  Chicago was using him as a 4C towards the end, and not because they had amazing centers – they had Andrew Shaw and Markus Kruger. I’d get ready to pass on Bolland if you can’t get him for 4 or less.

  • Cameron19

    I think that is really over-stating Bolland’s worth to just talk about the Cups between contracts. There are other factors. He hasn’t been healthy, even before this potentially career-altering injury. Outside of the 15 games he played here for us, he had been declining for some time.  Chicago was using him as a 4C towards the end, and not because they had amazing centers – they had Andrew Shaw and Markus Kruger. I’d get ready to pass on Bolland if you can’t get him for 4 or less.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Bolland lives a relatively modest lifestyle.  He’s not a high roller.  If he gets a 5 year $4M deal, he will take home about $11.5M in after tax dollars.  Assuming he spends 500K per year for living expenses, that will leave him with $9M banked and invested.
    He might bank another $2M going somewhere else but at what additional cost money wise and he would have to relocate his immediate family and likely be further away from his extended family.
    Lastly, the Leafs are going to challenge for the SC over the next 5 years.  He will want to play a key part on that contending team.  I WANT TO PLAY WITH PHIL KESSEL!!!!!

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe Mind Bomb  better than focusing on work!

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    MaxwellHowe For me, you get rid of the Lupul contract, the McLaren money.  The Ranger and Fraser contracts expire at the end of the year as well as Tucker, Frattin, Armstrong money.

  • Cameron19

    Knights2Leafs  According to Kyper, he’s asking for double that. 8 years, 40M.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Cameron19 Do you think Nonis wants to get down to the nitty gritty now to keep a trade deadline deal option open?  And, as well, pressure Bolland to take less $,m because even Bollabnd can’t be sure he will completely heal, and might be willing to take a sure thing rather than risk his payday on a questionable tendon?  This is a fascinating negotiotion really. Make for a great 24/7 episode.

  • B_Leaf

    Cameron19  

    Kruger is a decent player no?

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19  I still think Chicago would have re-signed Bolland if they had the space. They only had enough to keep one of Bickel or Bolland and they choose Bickel