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.
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:
The Tampa Bay Lightning already have their challenges, but what if Tyler Johnson misses some time?
That’s the troubling thought on Saturday night, as he appeared to be quite shaken up by a Dave Bolland hit, which you can watch in the video above.
There’s no update yet regarding whether he’ll miss the rest of tonight’s Lightning – Florida Panthers game, yet that seems like a reasonable bet.
The Panthers may have lost a noteworthy player of their own, as Dmitry Kulikov is done for the evening thanks to a lower-body injury.
Update: Good news, at least for the moment?
Florida will get one of its biggest free agent acquisitions back in the lineup tonight, as Dave Bolland will play for the first time since Oct. 17 when the Panthers take on the Blues.
Bolland, who’s missed the last 21 games with a groin strain, came to Florida this summer amid significant fanfare and signed a five-year, $27.5 million pact that made him the club’s highest-paid forward at $5.5 million per season.
The returns thus far, however, haven’t been great — Bolland’s only played in four games this season and has yet to record a point in a Panthers uniform. Florida has done remarkably well in his absence, however, going 10-5-6 and heading into tonight’s action just two points back of Toronto and Boston for fourth in the Atlantic Division.
Florida Panthers’ center Dave Bolland will have his jersey retired by the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
According to The London Free Press, Bolland, who spent 254 regular season games with the Knights will have his No. 91 raised to the rafters of the Budweiser Gardens on Oct. 15.
“It does mean a lot, being up there with (Rick) Nash, (Corey) Perry, Darryl Sittler and all those guys who have come through this organization,” Bolland said. “I thank the Hunters for doing that and for putting me up there. It’s a big honour and it’ll be a fun night.
“I don’t know if I’ll shed a tear, but the way my speeches go, it might be a quick one.”
In addition to Nash, Perry and Sittler, London has retired the numbers of Rob Ramage (5), Dino Ciccarelli (8), Brendan Shanahan (19) and Brad Marsh (22).
In four seasons with the Knights, Bolland scored 135 goals and 299 points. He won the team’s most improved player award for his 37 goals and 67 points during the 2003-04 season in London.
The 2004 second-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks helped the Knights capture the 2005 Memorial Cup.
Bolland joined the Panthers this summer after signing a new five-year, $27.5 million contract on July 1.
In 355 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Maple Leafs the two-time Stanley Cup champion has 78 goals and 180 points.
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