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Blackhawks breakdown: Dave Bolland

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Blackhawks breakdown: Dave Bolland

CSNChicago.com Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers and PGL host Chris Boden will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Hawks roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.

Dave Bolland logged 16 12 minutes per game in 76 games in 2011-12. He matched his career-high with 19 goals and added 18 assists for 37 points. Bolland was one of the few Hawks who really stood out on special teams with a career-high seven power play goals and career-best three shorthanded goals. Bolland was even in plusminus, delivered 58 hits and won 48.4 percent of his faceoffs. He did not score a goal in the playoff series vs. Phoenix, finishing with three assists and an even rating.

Boden's take: The third-line center turns only 26 next week, and his value is highest come playoff time. While he had his healthiest season in three years and matched his career-best goal total (19), he remains somewhat of a riddle to Hawks fans who want to see more impact offensively with the defense and agitation he's usually so good at providing in crunch time. But at that end of the ice, the body of work indicates he won't come close to the 57 goals he amassed six years ago in London (OHL). Part of it has to do with ever-changing linemates he's been playing with. Faceoff consistency is another area the Hawks could use some improvement from him.

Myers' take: The checking-line center enjoyed his healthiest season since 2008-09, although his numbers werent too far off last season, when he played just 61 games. Bolland is still strong at shutting down the oppositions best scorers. He had his share of linemates this season - and played the second-line center position for a brief moment - and defensively, he was fine. Points-wise, he was streaky. Bolland was once again gathering up points at the time of year he usually does: the end of it. But there were some big gaps in there during the season, and the Blackhawks needed he and others to bolster their secondary scoring more.

2012-13 Expectations

Boden: With two years and less than 7 million left on his contract, some may wonder if Bolland could be one of Stan Bowman's moveable parts this off-season if he's looking to shake things up. Adding to the intrigue is the presence of Marcus Kruger -- if Patrick Kane's the second-line center and Jamal Mayers is back in the middle on the fourth line -- there's too many men in the middle. But when all is said and done, they'd have to replace a guy who provides 15-20 goals (sure, you probably wouldn't mind him getting it up to 25), and has been a plus-35 over the past four regular seasons and plus-11 the past four postseasons playing against the opponents top line. Phoenix's leading goal-scorer this season, Radim Vrbata, was held to one assist in the playoff series. If the Hawks do to trade him away, they would need someone who could step in and provide something similar.

Myers: Bolland needs to have another season like the last one in terms of his health. And while it may be a thought to shop Bolland elsewhere, it should remain just that. Yes, they have an extra center or two right now, but Bowman has constantly talked about how you can never have too many of them. So don't get rid of him. Of all of the Blackhawks' role-player types, he has still been the most consistent of that group. The Blackhawks need his checking ability and his presence in that locker room.

How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sure to chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out highlights of Bolland above.

Up next: Jimmy Hayes

Bears release statement from George McCaskey on George Floyd's death

Bears release statement from George McCaskey on George Floyd's death

On Monday evening, the Bears released a statement from George McCaskey regarding the recent death of George Floyd: 

A week ago another unarmed African-American man died at the hands of a white police officer. We are witnessing the anger and frustration play out in protests across the nation, including Chicago. We must do more than wring our hands and hope it doesn’t happen again. As an organization, we have addressed it internally by offering unconditional support to our family of staff, coaches and players, and today Ryan Pace and Coach Nagy spent the allotted two hours of team meeting time listening to and healing together with our players and the coaching staff. Through our voice, our actions and our resources, it is our obligation to lead. We will continue to work with our player-led social justice committee to provide funding and exposure to local organizations dedicated to empowering communities that have been oppressed for far too long. We’re proud to support organizations like BUILD Chicago, I Grow Chicago, My Block, My Hood, My City, and Youth Guidance, among others, who are doing great work in these communities and we encourage fans to partner with us in supporting them. Our commitment is to continue to be an active participant in change.

Though they don't use his name specifically, it's clearly a reference to Floyd's death, as they Bears joined (most) teams across the country in issuing statements condemning the abuse of power among law enforcement officials. 

Cubs' Jason Heyward on racial injustice: 'It feels like a broken record'

Cubs' Jason Heyward on racial injustice: 'It feels like a broken record'

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward joined ESPN 1000’s “Waddle & Silvy” on Monday for a candid conversation on the unrest and tensions across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of officer Derek Chauvin.

“It feels like a broken record and where we’re watching a rerun,” Heyward told Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle. “I feel like these things continue to happen over and over and over again and you have people continuously and helplessly trying to find a solution.”

Heyward, who grew up in McDonough, Ga. described how his father discussed racial injustice with him and his brother at a young age.

RELATED: Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts: 'We all need to step up to end' racial injustice

“He didn’t do that just to do it, that wasn’t something he was proud of having to do and having to explain,” he said. “That was something from experience that he could take and know that he went to one of the first integrated schools in South Carolina, integrated movie theaters, having separate bathrooms — things like that.”

Those conversations continued as Heyward committed to pursuing a professional baseball career while in high school, he said. As he was preparing to play for a travel team in East Cobb, Ga., his father told him of what he may face, such as being called the N word and people talking bad about his family.

Heyward noted how as a minor leaguer in the Braves farm system, he faced racism playing games in Savannah, Ga. — then home to a Mets affiliate. Silverman mentioned the racist messages Heyward received on Twitter after leaving the Cardinals in free agency to join the Cubs. Last year, MLB investigated racist messages sent to former Cub Carl Edwards Jr. on social media.

Although he said he experiences less of that today in the big leagues, Heyward added it still happens and that’s the message that needs to be shared. He described how the start to reaching a solution is people continuing to discuss racial injustice and being willing to listen and be aware of others’ concerns.

"While everyone has different views and different concerns and every ethnicity, race, gender, all these things — people have their own struggles, man," he said. "But I think at the end of the day, right now we’re seeing a lot of conversation about this that we’ve seen before but I think it’s being spread a little bit faster through social media, through LeBron James, through the rest of the NBA, through other athletes, through people that are starting to look around and say ‘I’m not African American, I’m not black but this affects me too.

"'This affects my kids, this affects them going to school, this affects my friends and their families and their generation.' So, I feel like everyone is a little bit more woke right now, regardless of how ugly things have been, how hard things have been on the people that are being affected most."

Floyd's death sparked week-long protests across the country that became violent. Heyward talked about looking into the future and what happens next as he sees some of the nation's more angry responses.

"I see confusion. I see anger, I see hatred, and these are all things people deal with as human beings on a daily basis. You have some people going out there with a certain message that they’re gonna put out. You have other people going out there and following and thinking they’re doing it for the right thing, but they don’t exactly understand it."

Heyward sees both sides of the issue, expressing sympathy for the difficult job and "judgements" police face.

"To me, that’s the trickle-down effect and what sucks is there are a lot of good cops, there are a lot of great cops," he said. "I’m friends with some — close family friends — to where they’re gonna take a lot of heat for this as well."

The bottomline is this issue isn't new for the life many Americans live on a daily basis.

"When you have hatred, when you have anger, when you have people that dealt with this 40 years ago, when you have people that dealt with this 20 years ago, people that dealt with it 10 years ago, people for the first time dealing with it now, you got people at all different walks of life who have different emotions about it and different thoughts on how to handle it.

"Everyone's not gonna have the same opinion, everyone's not gonna agree. But having the conversations, putting it out there and being aware of how we're all thinking as different individuals is a huge step in the right direction."

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