- Profession: NHL hockey player with the Chicago Blackhawks
- Age: 26
- Hometown: Etobicoke, Ont.
- The car: 2011 Audi A8 sedan
- Drafted by the Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft
- Stanley Cup Champion, 2009-2010
- Competed at the 2006 World Junior Championships, helping Canada capture a gold medal
- Captain of Team OHL in Canada-Russia Series, 2005
- OHL Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy winner, 2005-2006
- Preseason schedule begins, Tuesday, Sept. 25, Chicago vs. Philadelphia
NHL star Dave Bolland was instrumental in helping the Chicago Blackhawks capture their first Stanley Cup championship in nearly five decades. But capturing the Cup and defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 didn’t go to the forward’s head.
Even though he’s a hard and gritty player on the ice, off the ice Bolland is soft-hearted. He launched a charitable foundation last February to support at-risk youth. So far, the Dave Bolland Foundation has raised nearly $250,000 for three charities – Beyond The Ball (Chicago), Easter Seals (International) and The Remix Project (Toronto). And he just hosted a celebrity charity golf tournament, dubbed The Second Annual Dave Bolland Golf Classic in Toronto last month, with proceeds going to The Remix Project. To get to the tournament, Bolland drove his 2011 Audi A8 sedan.
Why did you buy an Audi A8?
I like the Audis. They’re really nice inside and they drive nice. The nav and everything inside is great.
It has all the amenities that a person needs. There’s a massage in the front seats. The back seats are really nice as well – they have a lot of room and space for friends that are with me. They can drive in luxury in the back. They’re just really nice cars.
Did you cross shop it against a BMW 7-Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class?
Yeah. I actually did have a Mercedes S-Class. I liked it a bit, but once I drove the Audi and saw what it had inside and everything that came with it, I thought it was just great. It’s a great car for a guy my age. Audi is that kind of car.
Mechanically, do you know what’s under the hood?
No. I do not. I’m not a great mechanic. I don’t know a lot about cars.
What does an Audi say about you?
It says class. It’s very classy, I think.
Have you got any speeding tickets?
No. No. Never. I stay out of trouble. No speeding tickets. The cops in Chicago love me.
So, they’ve caught you and let you off because they recognize you?
Yeah, that, too.
What was your first car?
I had a 1996 Chevy Trailblazer. That’s what I learned to drive on. My parents taught me to drive. They took me around and taught me to do everything. After that, I took driver’s courses to get my licence. But my parents really taught me. You get both the best and the worst with your parents teaching you. Either they’re yelling at you for doing the right thing or doing the wrong thing – you never know what you’re doing. They yelled at me the most for my heavy foot.
What did you buy when you were drafted into the NHL?
When I made it in the NHL, I bought a Chevy Tahoe. It was my first car I bought. I bought it about six-seven years ago.
What else have you owned?
I’ve owned two Mercedes – an S550 and an S63. I’ve had two Range Rovers and I had the Tahoe.
I like big cars. They’re nice to relax in. I like the luxury of them – they’re nice and comfy. During long trips you feel like you’re just floating.
Did you ever own any lemons or old beaters?
No. I’ve never had an old beater, except for my Trailblazer. It broke down on me a lot of times – little things. A minor problem I had was with a flat tire. I was pretty lucky with that car – it stayed pretty good.
Do you like driving and road trips?
Yeah. I’ve done the drive back from Chicago to Toronto, an eight-nine-hour drive. I do that quite a bit.
It’s a nice long drive that’s scenic. My favourite stretch of road is from Chicago – I think it’s the I-94 that goes from Chicago all the way into Detroit. There are some nice open roads and sometimes there are nice long stretches where you can put your foot down. Driving home in a nice car is always nice. You can floor it once in a while, but you do have to be safe for the cops.
What do you listen to on the road?
I listen to everything from country to hip hop to rock – a variety of music. But I don’t sing. I just listen. Before a game I listen to a little hip hop – some Jay-Z, some Drake, Kanye West.
What’s your best and worst driving story?
My worst would probably be causing an accident, but I never got hit. I remember I caused an accident at a two-way stop. Two cars went by and then I went at the wrong time and two cars smashed each other, but nothing happened to me.
My best would probably be getting into the Audi R8. I test drove it and I think that’s one of the nicest cars out there right now. It’s an all around nice, classy car.
If I can bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?
I’ve driven a few Lamborghinis and a few Ferraris. I drove a Bentley, the supercharged, before. Those are really nice, fast cars. But it would have to be the Audi R8.
This interview has been edited and condensed.