Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers

Bolland back from AHL stint, but now dealing with injury

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Underachieving center Dave Bolland is back with the Panthers following his conditioning stint in the minors, but it’s unclear when he’ll actually be back in the lineup.

More, from the Miami Herald:

Bolland returned to the Panthers on Monday and his gear is back in the team locker room but he might not play right away.

Bolland sustained some sort of injury while on assignment to Florida’s AHL team in Portland, Maine.

General manager Dale Tallon would only say that Bolland is being evaluated for a “lower-body” injury.

Bolland, 29, has been a major disappointment this season, and that disappointment’s been exacerbated by the fact that, at $5.5 million annually, he’s Florida’s highest-paid forward.

Head coach Gerard Gallant’s made Bolland a healthy scratch on a number of occasions this season, but insisted he wasn’t trying to send the veteran center a message.

Yet by sending him to the minors, the Panthers pretty much did exactly that.

Bolland appeared in two games for Portland during his stint, registering one point. He last played on Saturday, in a 2-1 win over Bridgeport.

Panthers send $27.5M man Bolland to minors for ‘conditioning’ stint

Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers

Dave Bolland‘s nightmare campaign in Florida continues.

On Tuesday, the Panthers announced they demoted Bolland to their AHL affiliate in Portland on a conditioning assignment though, according to the Miami Herald, you might want to toss some air quotes around “conditioning.”

Bolland, 29, has been a major disappointment this season, and that disappointment’s been exacerbated by the fact that, at $5.5 million annually, he’s Florida’s highest-paid forward.

Head coach Gerard Gallant’s made Bolland a healthy scratch on a number of occasions this season, but insisted he wasn’t trying to send the veteran center a message.

Now, it appears the organization is doing exactly that.

“We need Dave to play more minutes and regain his confidence with the offensive side of his game, so that he can help us in the second half of the season,” Florida GM Dale Tallon explained, per Sportsnet.

Since Bolland wasn’t exposed to waivers and is going to Portland on a “conditioning” stint, his max stay in the AHL is two weeks. It’s not unlike what the Leafs did recently with goalie Jonathan Bernier.

On the year, Bolland has one goal and five points in 25 games, averaging just 14:06 TOI per game — his lowest since breaking in which Chicago as a rookie.

In a corresponding move to the Bolland demotion, the Panthers recalled Rocco Grimaldi.

Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers

AP
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Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.

The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.

In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.

This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.

The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.

This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.

 

The Panthers are healthy scratching Bolland, and he is their highest-paid forward, but they insist they’re not sending a message

Dave Bolland, Derek Nansen

It feels like there’s a story brewing in Florida, where Dave Bolland — the team’s most-expensive forward, at $5.5 million a season — has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games.

But according to head coach Gerard Gallant, there’s nothing to see here. Move along.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Gallant said, per the Miami Herald. “He sat out, our team is playing well. There’s nothing more than that. We have to sit two guys and I like the way we’re playing. The next game is a different game. We may change something up, who knows.”

Bolland had just one goal and five points in 18 games prior to getting parked in the press box. Well, technically he got dropped to the fourth line before hitting the press box, but you get the idea. He’s not exactly in Gallant’s good graces.

Not helping Bolland’s case is the fact that, as Gallant pointed out, the club is playing pretty well without him. The Panthers have rebounded from a rough start to November by winning back-to-back games against the Islanders and Red Wings, which set them up nicely for the remainder of this current five-game road swing.

Florida has games still to play in St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus and New Jersey. It’ll be interesting to see when — or, if — he draws back into the lineup.

In closing, a reminder that Bolland’s in the second of a five-year, $27.5 million deal.

Bolland to be healthy scratch versus Kings

Dave Bolland, Ryan O'Reilly
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Remember when Dave Bolland was a hot commodity on the free-agent market? It wasn’t that long ago, so you should.

To refresh your memory, the Maple Leafs wanted to keep him, but, ultimately, they couldn’t match the Panthers’ five-year, $27.5 million offer.

Bolland signed with Florida on July 1, 2014.

Tonight, he’ll be a healthy scratch versus the Kings.

Bolland played a season-low 10:58 in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Rangers. The 29-year-old center has just one goal and four assists in 18 games. He’s also struggled at faceoffs, winning just 45.8 percent of the 275 draws he’s taken.

Oh, and against the Rangers, there was this: