The Arizona Coyotes recently acquired Dave Bolland — sometimes referred to as “Dave Bolland’s contract” — in a deal with the Florida Panthers, who were looking to clear some cap space. The Coyotes, once again, used their cap space as an asset, acquiring touted prospect Lawson Crouse from Florida.
The 30-year-old Bolland has three years remaining on his deal with a $5.5 million AAV. He hasn’t been effective in years, and that isn’t going to change in the near future according to Bolland’s agent Anton Thun. Bolland is battling a pair of injuries — back and ankle — that make it unclear when he’ll return to the ice. That may work in Arizona’s favor, allowing them to place him on long-term injured reserve, paying just $1.1 million of the $5.5 million he’s due.
Arizona Sports’ Craig Moran reports that Bolland’s situation is made worse by the fact that the back injury is making it difficult to rehab his ankle. “It looked like the ankle was going to be fine but it requires a significant level of day-to-day care,” Thun told Moran. “This past season when he sustained the back injury to one of his vertebrae, it impacted his ability to do that day-to-day care… Until his back is fully healed, it’s difficult to rehab the ankle. There’s nothing nefarious about this. It’s just a long process.”
The last line was an acknowledgment that the Coyotes were aware of the injury at the time of the trade. General manager John Chayka said as much to the media after the trade was complete.
Bolland’s ankle injury tracks all the way back to the 2013-14 season when he was playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. For now, he’s home and working toward a return. “There’s nothing that he would like more than to play in the National Hockey League again,” Thun told Morgan. “Will that happen? I don’t think anybody can project that.”
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.