NEWARK, N.J. -- Dave Bolland scored the goal that gave the Chicago Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup in the past four seasons. Now he's headed to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Blackhawks traded Bolland to the Maple Leafs for the 51st and 117th overall picks in this draft, as well as a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. It wasn't an altogether surprising move for the Blackhawks, who were looking to free up cap space to get to the $64.3 million that every team must be at for the 2013-14 season. The Blackhawks are also looking to re-sign Bryan Bickell and Nick Leddy, among others.
Bolland, who has spent his entire pro career with the Blackhawks, was the subject of much trade speculation heading into this draft. A source said several teams were interested in the third-line center, who scored the game- and Cup-winning goal with 58.3 seconds remaining in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins on Monday night. He has one year remaining on a five-year deal that was a $3.375 million cap hit per season.
The 27-year-old Bolland finished the postseason on a high note, with three goals and two assists in the Stanley Cup Final series vs. Boston. But it was an otherwise tough regular season for Bolland, who struggled through injuries (a groin and back, at the very least), and low offensive production. Bolland was moved to second-line center this past season and his numbers fell; he had just seven goals and seven assists in 35 games.
Bolland was asked about the potential trade rumors at the Blackhawks' final media availability on Thursday. The veteran took it in stride.
"I'd love to be back here next year. But whatever happens, happens," he said. "It’s the NHL and trades happen, I’d love to be back here, I love Chicago. But it’s a game and this is what happens."