Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bolland Undergoes Back Surgery

It appears the Blackhawks can't seem to stay healthy this year. First of all, we signed an extremely expensive forward with a torn rotator cuff to a 12-year deal. Next, we lost Adam Burish to a torn ACL in the second game of the year. In the same game, we lost Ben Eager who suffered a concussion. Jonathan Toews also suffered a concussion. Thankfully, Eager and Toews came back last night. However, this comes with the news that Dave Bolland is out with a back injury and today we found out that he had a herniated disk operated on, leaving him on the sidelines for the next 3-4 months.

On the surface this seems like a recipe for a bad season. In some ways, it's taken its toll. The 6 games that Toews was gone (although he hadn't produced much offense prior to his injury), the Blackhaws lost 3. Coming back last night, Toews put one in net to put the 'Hawks up by 2. Remember his rookie season when Toews was out for a week or two with a leg injury? They struggled badly. When he came back, the 'Hawks "magically" began winning again.

However, the other injuries have not taken a huge toll yet. The Blackhawks are still tied for the lead in their division. It's good to see others step up in their place. I feel that, now, when we get Hossa in late Nov./early Dec. we will be stronger than ever.

The other, somewhat cynical, view of this is that it gives the Blackhawks all the more reason to dump these guys this summer and re-sign Toews, Kane, and Keith instead. Not Eager so much, because he's cheap anyway, but Burish and Bolland are soon-to-be money pits. Let's delve into this a little deeper.

Think about it, Bolland is 23. He already has back problems? Back problems are not things that just "go away". This will continue to plague him and the Blackhawks in the years to come. We don't need another Havlat. Bolland is one of the players the Blackhawks had to run around and throw entirely too much money at to get him to stay because that dumbass, Tallon, had his head shoved up his ass. Currently, Bolland is leaching $3.375M/year for the next five years. Trade him at the trade deadline after we have played without him for 3-4 months and keep the salary cap space.

Burish is a UFA after this season and isn't that expensive to keep around. I could go either way on this guy. After an ACL injury, he will never be as fast as before. For that reason, I say let him sign with someone else. However, if we can fill a spot with a cheap guy, I say do it, because we have too many roster spots to fill next year and not enough money to do it. It's a toss up.

Until then, I hope the 'Hawks continue to adapt and develop guys from the AHL to save cap space and improve our team.

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