NEWARK, N.J. -- Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis was kind enough to let the Stanley Cup champions get off the ice in Boston last Monday before he sent Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman a text message inquiring about the availability of center Dave Bolland.
"We've been going back and forth since then," Nonis said.
Nonis got what he wanted Sunday during the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center. The Blackhawks traded Bolland to the Maple Leafs in exchange for three draft picks: Nos. 51 and 117 this year and a fourth-round pick in 2014.
Bolland, who is from the Toronto suburb of Mimico, Ontario, scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Blackhawks six days ago. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010.
He has one year remaining on a contract that pays him $3.375 million.
"He does have that pedigree," Nonis said. "Part of having all those banners and Cups is being in the right place and part of it is being the right person. Usually if you're on multiple championship teams it's because you provide something. For us, we were the second-youngest team in the League [in 2012-13] and if you look at our team going forward, that really isn't going to change. Adding some experience to our leadership group I think that's a positive thing for us."
Bolland, 27, was drafted in the second round (No. 32) by the Blackhawks in 2004. He admitted it will be hard leaving Chicago, but said he understands the Blackhawks made the move from a business standpoint.
Chicago also traded Michael Frolik to the Winnipeg Jets, freeing enough cap space to re-sign Bryan Bickell to a four-year contract reportedly worth $16 million.
"It's part of the game; this is hockey," Bolland said. "Once you sign up for this, you know things like this are going to happen. You wish you can play your whole career in one spot, but this is the game and this is what you go through."
Nonis said he consulted with Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, who is excited to insert Bolland into the lineup. Nonis said Bolland could potentially play in the Maple Leafs' top six, even though he has been a third-line center for most of his career in Chicago.
The other centers Toronto has under contract are Nazem Kadri, Mikhail Grabovski and Jay McClement. Tyler Bozak can become an unrestricted free agent July 5, but Nonis did not rule out his return to Toronto.
"If you go back and look at [Bolland's] junior numbers, they're exceptional," Nonis said, referencing the 299 points Bolland scored during 254 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. "He played behind some pretty good people [in Chicago] and I think Randy won't pigeon-hole him as a third-line center. I think he'll probably be put in more of a prominent role with us than he was in Chicago."
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Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer