Dave Bolland

Chicago’s Bolland: ‘I want to rush back’ from injury


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.”

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.