Finally: Bolland Having Back Surgery Today
As most of you know, I have an unhealthy and disproportionate love of Fabulous Weapon, and maybe I've overstated his value on this team. It was unclear before the season that Bolland could be the #2 center on a Cup-winning team, or it was a flatly stated "no". In my mind, Bolland is a lightning-fast, high hockey IQ, two-way puck distributor. Remember, Havlat's season last year didn't take off until landing on Bolland's wing, a center who knew how to get him the puck. I'm sure Bolly could have done the same for Hossa, and he still may get the chance. Either way, it was obvious that Weapon was hurting, and now that's going to be corrected.
I've seen some vitriol directed at Andrew Ebbett, but let's be honest here, Ebbett is just "a guy". "A guy" who was picked off waivers, so what are the expectations here? Sadly, the Hawks don't have a center down at Rockford who can come fill in for a long stretch, unless you really want to see Jake Dowell as your #2 center. Bumping up John Madden isn't a solution either, as he's best suited to be your checking center (notice having Kopitar in his pocket all night last night).
Is Ebbett a solution for the time-being? I don't know. If surrounded with talent on both wings I doubt he hurts you too much. Versteeg at center isn't an answer, and Q figured that out one period in last night. I'm still not sure why Sharp hasn't been suggested as a name who can fill in there. We know he hates it, but he was the Hawks #2 center when they rolled 9 straight last December, and put up 20 goals from there before getting hurt and the acquisition of Sammi Pahlsson.
If Bolland is out three months, and that would be the longest estimate, he's still back in February, where'd he get another two weeks to rest up due to the Olympics. The Hawks will need Bolland to blossom into a + NHL center, and now they've given him every opportunity to do that, by giving him every opportunity to get healhty.
Rest up, Fabulous Weapon, we'll need you.
UPDATE: The Hawks announced it will be 12-16 weeks, so three to four months. Should be back before the playoffs, though.