John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Free Agency: Blues Reportedly Pursuing Dave Bolland

According to SportsNet’s John Shannon, the St. Louis Blues are at the top of the list for 28-year-old free agent center Dave Bolland:

 

The Blues’ interest in Bolland is rather puzzling. After the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round earlier this year, general manager Doug Armstrong seemed to express a desire to move on from the expensive veteran role players, including Derek Roy, Brenden Morrow, and Steve Ott, who had underperformed so much in the playoffs, and to give younger players like Dmitrij Jaskin and Magnus Paajarvi opportunities to be in the lineup regularly. So signing Bolland, who’s reportedly commanding a high salary and has just 26 points in the past two seasons, doesn’t really make sense.

Bolland just finished a five-year deal that paid him $3,375,000 per year, so he may be looking for even more this time around, despite the fact that he’s been held back by ankle injuries the past two years and been limited to 58 games. TSN’s Darren Dreger speculated that Bolland would his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, for an eight-year deal at nearly $5 million per season. This would seem to be an extremely excessive price for a guy whose numbers indicate that he’s at best a third line player.

Furthermore, Bolland plays virtually the same role as center Maxim Lapierre, who the Blues already have under contract. They’re both agitators who rough people up but don’t take a bunch of penalty minutes, and both of them have been decent offensively in the past but aren’t really threatening as scorers at this point in their respective careers. It would be interesting to see how the Blues accommodated Bolland if they indeed signed him, considering that they already have Lapierre, David Backes, Patrik Berglund, and presumably restricted free agent Vladimir Sobotka in the fold for next year.

Tags: Dave Bolland NHL Free Agency St. Louis Blues

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