The Florida Panthers have managed to unload Dave Bolland’s cumbersome contract to the Arizona Coyotes, but they had to send Lawson Crouse along with him to get it done. In return, Florida receives Arizona’s 2017 3rd round draft pick and a conditional 2nd round draft pick in 2018.
The 30-year-old Bolland has three years left on his contract, with an AAV of $5.5 million. The injury-prone forward registered just one goal and five points in 25 games last year before injuries ended his season and made him ineligible for a buyout.
The offloading of Bolland gives the Panthers a shade over $9.2 million in cap space heading into September, according to General Fanager. “We plan to use this cap space to continue to aggressively build on the steps we took this summer,” said general manager Tom Rowe.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) August 25, 2016
For Arizona, they have just $2.34 million in cap space before they move Chris Pronger to long-term injured reserve. He’s another example of the team using cap space as an asset to improve their team in the long-run. They also acquired Pavel Datsyuk’s contract from the Red Wings at the draft in a deal that allowed them to draft defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
For their troubles, the Coyotes acquire Crouse, who was selected 11th overall in the 2015 draft. The 6-foot-4 forward adds another talented player to an incredible group of young players that includes Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome, Chychrun, Brandon Perlini, Nick Merkley, Christian Fischer, Christian Dvorak and Ryan MacInnis.
“We are very pleased to acquire Lawson,” said Coyotes general manager John Chayka. “He’s a big, physical, power forward who is a strong skater with good hands. Players of his caliber and profile are extremely hard to find.”
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 25, 2016
Crouse put up 23 goals and 62 points in 49 games for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs last season. He also spent time playing for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, where he put up five points in five games before Canada met a disappointing early exit. He’s a highly regarded prospect who was a bit of a controversial pick at 11 in 2015, but has proven that his offensive skills are there and that he’s more than just a big body.
He is currently training with fellow Coyotes Max Domi and Dylan Strome.
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.