The Edmonton Oilers are going to be an active team this summer, both on the free agent and the trade markets. That’s no secret. We also know where they’re looking to upgrade. The blue line and in the middle are priorities, with the latter becoming even more imperative if they don’t bring back restricted free agent Sam Gagner.
Now we’re starting to hear some names in connection with the Oilers as far as who they could be interested in. As of right now, they appear to have interest in at least one member of the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The player is center Dave Bolland.
The Oilers’ interest in Dave Bolland really isn’t anything new. They’ve been interested in him before, but now it appears that the Blackhawks could be ready to deal him. He’s coming off a down year and simply isn’t worth the cost for Chicago with the cap coming down. Which makes sense as to why the Oilers want him. Somehow.
Bolland is still a very capable player, though his offensive game has never materialized the way the Hawks would have liked. Defensively, he’s among the best forwards in the game and has a history of consistently shutting down some of the game’s best opposing forwards.
The drawbacks are obviously that offensive aspect, as well as the fact that he’s not good in the faceoff circle. Still, for an Oilers team desperate for center depth, and in need of the type of attitude that he brings to the table, he could be a fit. But what might he cost the Oilers?
Smart money says a player like Magnus Paajarvi. It wouldn’t be a one-for-one swap, but that’s the type of player that makes a lot of sense for the Hawks, and they want a big return for Bolland. That’d be a good place to start. Whether or not a deal actually gets done, we won’t know for some time, but Bolland is a player that makes sense for the Oilers, even with his shortcomings.