Bolland gets 5 years, $5.5M from Panthers. #Leafs sat on $4.9 a year for five years
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) July 1, 2014
It’s the only way to explain the above tweet. Is it possible that Bolland threatened to release video of Dave Nonis smoking something with Toronto mayor Rob Ford? If what Bolland had against Nonis was enough to force the Leafs to offer him $4.9 million a year, I can only imagine what he’s blackmailing Dale Tallon with.
Dave Bolland must have some sort of magic working for him because he managed to receive two offers in free agency that he had absolutely no business receiving. That, or Anton Thun is the best agent in the history of sports.
Dave Bolland is An Average 3rd Line Center at Best
In his last 58 NHL games, Bolland has managed to score 26 points. Those 58 games span the last two seasons. So, not only was Bolland not a very productive player during that time, he was barely on the ice period. Over the past five seasons, Dave Bolland has played just 234 out of 376 (62%) possible games.
Here is a list of a few players that have more points than Dave Bolland over the last five seasons: Daniel Winnik, Mike Knuble, Michael Handzus, Wojtek Wolski, Lauri Korpikoski, Sergei Kostitsyn, Blake Comeau, and Dan Girardi. In addition, there are 243 more NHL players that have more points than Dave Bolland in that span of time. That’s not a typo. 243.
Now, Bolland’s game and value is not all about offense. He’s a good ol’ Canadian boy that plays 200 foot hockey and plays with truculence and bellicosity, as Bob McKenzie might say.
But for a guy whose value depends a lot on his defensive play, his defensive play is not great according to most measurable metrics. He’s received a grand total of four votes for the Selke Trophy in his entire career, over a period of two seasons. Over that two year span, 1,375 votes were cast for the Selke (1st-5th place), giving him about one fourth of one percent of the votes.
In the three seasons where Dave Bolland has been a significant member of his team’s penalty killing unit, the PK unit has been rather terrible. His teams finished 18th, 25th, and 27th on the PK when he was on the top two PK units.
He was the fifth best forward in terms of possession on a team that was awful at possession, so I guess that’s something.
But remember that time he frustrated the Sedins for a whole playoff series in 2010? What a clutch player he is. (Henrik Sedin still played point-per-game hockey in that series).
How Overpaid is Dave Bolland?
Leafs brass meeting internally…designing at least 1 more pitch for Dave Bolland. #FAF
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2014
Now, if the Panthers and Leafs had been offering Bolland a 3 year contract for 2 million dollars a year, nobody would be batting an eye. However, the Panthers just paid Bolland like an average first line center.
Currently, there are four other players forwards in the NHL that have a cap hit of $5.5 million. They are: John Tavares, Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr, and Shawn Horcoff.
In Jagr’s 18 full NHL seasons, his lowest point total was 54, meaning they were all better than Dave Bolland’s career high. In the two lockout shortened ones, he scored 70 points, and was on pace to score 64. Bolland’s best offensive season is not close to Jaromir Jagr’s worst ever.
Every season of John Tavares’ 5 year NHL career has been better than Bolland’s. Patrik Elias has 14 seasons of better point production than Bolland’s career high. Shawn Horcoff, whose contract has been long regarded as one of the worst in the NHL, has four seasons that are better than Bolland’s best.
Here are the 20 most comparable contracts to Dave Bolland’s, according to Capgeek. (capgeek has shut down) Among the players on the list, Bolland has the lowest single season high point total with 47. Second lowest is Evander Kane, one of the most overrated players in the league, at 57. Third lowest is Nathan Horton with 62, who has four seasons better than Bolland’s career high.
So how overpaid is Dave Bolland?
The sad thing is, Bolland’s contract wasn’t even the worst one doled out today. Brooks Orpik’s identical 5 year, $27.5 million dollar deal with the Capitals takes the cake. Both have vaulted themselves into the conversation for worst contract in the NHL. However, they will have to beat David Clarkson to take that title.
Bill Schoeninger is a Philadelphia Flyers writer and current Boston University student studying business. Coming to THW from Hometown Hockey, Bill follows and writes about the Flyers, Boston University Terriers, and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @BSchoeninger17