|2008 - Dave Bolland||81||19||28||47||19||52||2||2||4||0||111||17.1|
The Good: Oh, so so much. I have to claim bias here, as McClure did with Sharp, but I've been waiting for Bolland for years. During the darkest days of 2005-2006, the only shining light I could find were the junior numbers Bolland was putting up in London. (104 points in 59 games is Kane-like). So I waited with bated breath for his arrival, got a brief glimpse last season, and got everything I wanted this year. Bolls started playing as the checking center, and did a more than respectable job there. He ended the year in the positive side of Behind The Net, and a +19, even though he faced the second toughest competition of anyone all season. On Dec. 3rd, Jesus H. was shifted to that line with Fabulous Weapon and Ladd, and that line produced maybe some of the best hockey this side of Getzlaf's line in Anaheim. Eventually, it became obvious that this line was now your #2 scoring line, and lost some of its checking duties. Bolls also came up with arguably the biggest goal of the season, the winner in Game 5 against Vancouver. Weapon showed hands, vision, positional sense, and a fair share of grit along the boards. As you can see, I'm completely giddy at what this kid might do, just terrified it might be in another uniform due to his RFA status.
The Bad: There's some, though not all his fault. I screamed for Bolland to be on the PP all season, and when he finally was he looked totally lost (until the aforementioned Game 5) on a point. But it was Q who threw him out there on a point, so not all his fault. Also, statistically, Bolly was the Hawks worst pk-er, but I'm not sure that holds up to the eye test. He was also a detriment on face-offs, winning only 44% of his draws. But all of these can improve with time.
Playoff Beard Strength: Iffy at best, like much of the roster just patchy and sketchy
Nicknames: Bolls, and Bolley, but was dubbed Fabulous Weapon in February, and that's what he shall be known as.
Related Photoshops: Not a photoshop, but we have to show this again.
The Grade: If there were inbetween grades, I would give Bolland a B+, just because I think there's room for growth in his game. But seeing as how there isn't, Bolland proved to be a genuine #2 center in a salary-cap era, and showed he can do anything he's asked. He is a must-re-sign, and this kid has a huge fucking ceiling. So, I'll go with an A. You?