Today, we begin our countdown to the Chicago Blackhawks 2018-19 regular season. Each day, we’ll will take a look at one player who best wore the same number as there are days left until the season starts.
For starters, it’s worth noting that Dave Bolland is without a doubt my favorite player Chicago Blackhawks player of all time. Unless he goes on to have a son who plays for Chicago, I don’t see anything changing that (check the author’s last name to see why).
From Mimico, Ontario, he played four seasons with the London Knights as many Blackhawks do (Adam Boqvist, for example). Bolland was drafted by the Blackhawks 32nd overall in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He spent seven years with Chicago giving fans an exciting third line to watch every time he was in the lineup.
All that being said, I’m still not sure how to properly introduce a guy like him. So, I thought I’d let one of our good friends from the Vancouver Canucks do the introducing for us.
Big thanks to former Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault, who calls Bolland “an individual whose IQ is probably the size of a bird seed” and also said “he’s got a face that only his mother could look at!”
Thanks for those kind words, Vigneault.
Oh, and sorry about your job.
Incase you don’t know, there’s a reason Vigneault responded this way. According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
Bolland appeared on WGN-AM 720 and referred to Henrik and Daniel Sedin (who are twins) as “sisters.” If you think that’s good, stay with me.
Dave was then asked if the Sedins would be considered “sisters” should they join Chicago in the future.
"“Well, they’ll never become Hawks,” Bolland said. “I don’t think we’d let them on our team. We’d be sure not to let them on our team. And, yeah, they probably still would be sisters. I think they might sleep in bunk beds. The older one has the bottom one, the younger one got the top.”"
However, his impact wasn’t limited to only his off-ice antics. Bolland and Vancouver developed a wonderful relationship while he was in Chicago filled with short-handed goals, dominant third-lines and lost tempers. Here’s one such example of Bolland and fellow Blackhawks’ antics forcing Canucks players to lose their tempers. Though Bolland wasn’t involved in the scrap, his play earlier in the game helped contribute to eruption.
I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for one of the greatest moments between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks. Keep an eye on Ben Eager. It’s hard not to.
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Additionally, here’s one of many other memorable Blackhawks moments Bolland helped to create. It’s the 2009-10 season and the Blackhawks are shorthanded.
Vancouver wins the board battle behind the net and the puck rings around to the point. Kyle Wellwood (42) skates with the puck towards the middle of the ice looking for a passing lane, but Bolland plugs it.
He then drops it to Pavol Demitra (38) but Demitra feels the pressure from Bolland and sends it right back to Wellwood.
In a split second, the two of them are trapped in the corner with no where to go. Notice how with each pass Bolland closes in on the pair and continuously pesters them with that active stick he showcased so often in Chicago. Bolland patiently waits for the right moment to step in front of Demitra. Once he does, he’s off to the races.
I wasn’t the only person blown away by no. 36’s play. The NHL liked it so much they made it into one of those chill-producing commercials to promote the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bolland’s knack for scoring short-handers never went away, either. Check out this beauty of a shorty he tallied with the Toronto Maple Leafs later in his career. He tees off on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway. Who does that?
Well, I suppose he does.
Before being traded to Toronto, though, Bolland still had a few more memories to create in Chicago. Rather than let my words dilute the moment, I’ll let Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk handle it.
Every. Single. Time.
Following that Stanley Cup winning year, Bolland’s second Cup with the Blackhawks, he would be sent to the Maple Leafs where he’d play just 23 games due to injury. His next two seasons which he spend with the Florida Panthers were once again injury riddled. Following that year, his contract was sent to the Arizona Coyotes. He hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season in Florida.
Despite his career after the Blackhawks, though, Bolland will always be remembered for the effort he gave, the hits he delivered, the penalties he killed, the jokes he said, the Cups he won and the pucks he flipped to the short blond kid every home game (thanks, Bolly).
Only 36 days to Blackhawks hockey!