Dave Bolland (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
A major piece of the trade that brought Lawson Crouse to the Arizona Coyotes was Dave Bolland’s contract, but the club may not be on the hook for much of his $5.5 million salary. The Coyotes don’t expect Bolland to play which would leave them paying only 20 percent of his deal.
In order to land Lawson Crouse from the Florida Panthers, the Arizona Coyotes also had to take on Dave Bolland’s anchor of a contract that has three years and $16.5 million remaining. But the Coyotes aren’t expecting to have to fork over much of Bolland’s salary because they’re not even sure when, or if, he’ll be suiting up in Arizona.
Following the trade, Coyotes GM John Chayka spoke with NHL Tonight and said the team doesn’t expect Bolland, 30, to be in the lineup when the season begins.
“As it stands right now, he’s injured,” Chayka said. “We don’t expect him to play for the foreseeable future, but he’ll come into camp and get evaluated and we’ll go from there.”
Chayka’s comments were backed up by Florida Panthers assistant GM Eric Joyce, who said that Bolland is battling through a significant injury will make it “real hard for him to play this year,” according to the Miami Herald’s George Richards.
If Bolland spends the entire campaign on the shelf — and if he’s there for the remainder of his contract — the Coyotes only be forced to pay 20 percent of the total contract value over the next three seasons, according to NHL Network’s Brian Lawton.
That would mean between Pavel Datsyuk and Bolland, the Coyotes’ two massive cap hits they’ve taken on to add players, Arizona would only be forced to pay a total of $1.1 million this coming campaign while hanging onto a combined $13 million in salary, per General Fanager. The Coyotes would also have an additional $5.5 million against the cap in the next two seasons while paying a scant $1.1 million in salary per year.
It’s believed that the injury Bolland is dealing with could be related to an ankle injury he suffered while a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Bolland was forced to miss 56 games after severing a tendon in his left ankle, and it was also responsible for three games he missed at the tail end of the 2013-14 campaign, his only year with the Maple Leafs. He missed 32 games with a lower-body injury this past season, and the connection was drawn between the tendon injury and his ailment this past season.
However, given that Bolland has only been able to play more than half a season once in the past four seasons, it’s not surprising that an injury will keep him on the sidelines for a while yet. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that his has been a precipitous drop for a player who was once considered a key cog in the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks’ bottom-six.
Since Bolland’s final season in Chicago, which concluded with him scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal, he has played 111 games, scoring 15 goals and 40 points.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.