Dave Bolland is frustrated.
Sidelined for the last three games (foot) after blocking a Shea Weber slapshot on Apr. 1, the Chicago center is tired of sitting out and wants to get back into action — even if it means returning from injury too soon.
“I want to rush back. I want to play,” Bolland told CSN Chicago. “It’s never fun sitting out and watching games or getting skated out there [by yourself].
“For me, it’s coming back when I’m ready and being prepared to keep this winning atmosphere in the room.”
Bolland won’t play on Friday when the ‘Hawks host the Wings in Chicago.
The 26-year-old’s had a tough time with injuries over the last three years. His 2010-11 campaign was derailed by a concussion that cost him the last 14 games of the regular season, and three playoff contests.
Last year, he missed six games with upper-body and foot injuries.
This year, he’s already dealt with a right leg and another upper-body ailment, missing nine games as a result.
When healthy, Bolland is a highly effective two-way player that can produce offensively and annoy the heck out of opponents. He tied a career-high with 19 goals a year ago and has 14 points through 30 games this year, all while averaging close to 17 minutes per game.
So, no wonder he wants to get back out there.
The big question moving forward is what Chicago will do with him after next year.
Bolland will be an unrestricted free agent in 2014 (his five-year, $16.88 million deal has an average annual cap hit of $3.38 million) and will be 28 at the time.
He’s a solid center and one of Chicago’s most vested veterans, but also has injury concerns.
That said, he acknowledges those concerns, and that’s probably why he’s so anxious to get back into the lineup.
“It’s never fun sitting out and watching games or getting skated out there,” Bolland explained. “Even sitting at home and watching on TV… I try not to put the games on because you want to be out there playing.
“Watching at home, you’re getting anxious. You want to be in there. For me, it’s just about making sure it’s healthy and being ready.”