Dealing with concussion left Bolland depressed

Dealing with concussion left Bolland depressed

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Updated: 9:55 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Dave Bolland was as down mentally as he was physically.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward struggled with the concussion he sustained on March 9. Days, weeks went by, and Bolland just wasnt feeling any better. It was sapping him in every way.

Its a drain to your body, a drain to your mind, said Bolland, who talked Tuesday for the first time since getting hurt. Its depressing. I didnt want to do anything. Guys would want to do something and you just wanted to stay in. You dont want to deal with anything. It was very tough. I could feel for (Sidney) Crosby and other guys whove had it. Its a tough time and Im glad Im over that hump.

Bolland is improving and he once again donned the non-contact jersey to practice with his teammates on Tuesday. While teammate Troy Brouwer (right shoulder) is a good possibility for Game 1 on Wednesday, Bolland isnt - I still have to do some tests to make sure everything up there is OK, he said.

Coach Joel Quenneville said well make that announcement when hes ready to go.

Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina was suspended three games for the elbow that caused Bollands concussion. Bolland said Kubina may have tried to call him, but doctors told him to stay off his cell phone not long after he was hurt, so hes not sure. Regardless, Bolland harbors no ill will toward Kubina.

I know he didnt mean to clip me like that, he said. Its a fast game and things happen out there. You wish things like that didnt happen but its part of the game and have to deal with it.

Bolland said he finally snapped out of it two Sundays ago after having headaches and feeling hazy and foggy for the last three or four weeks. Every night he went to bed hoping hed feel better the next day. Every morning, he wouldnt.

Doctors said one day you have it and the next day its totally gone. Id wake up every day hoping that was the day but it just was never going away, Bolland said. Its just time and thats all it is.

Now hes turned the corner. Hell take the necessary steps and tests to make sure hes ready. theres nothing more hed like to do than to play against the Canucks; but for now, hes happy just to be here, to be practicing and to be feeling better.

Once we knew wed be playing Vancouver, I wish I felt better and was ready to play the first game. It does get frustrating when everyones getting ready for this, Bolland said. I still feel a little bit of a haze but just whenever I feel great, whenever I feel my mind and heads back, Ill be good.

No Buff

Dustin Byfuglien was big in frustrating the Canucks in last years playoff series. He was a big presence, he crashed the net and scored, garnering a hat trick in Game 1 and collecting six points (four goals, two assists) for the series.

The Blackhawks will be missing that this time against Vancouver, but the Canucks figure theyll just find someone else.

Regardless of who we play someones going to get in front of (Roberto Luongo). Thats the key to scoring goals on him; hes too good otherwise, Kevin Bieksa said. Im sure theyll have a new Byfuglien this series. Well have to find out who it is.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks ink Anton Forsberg, Tomas Jurco

Blackhawks ink Anton Forsberg, Tomas Jurco

When the Blackhawks traded to get Brandon Saad back, they also acquired Anton Forsberg, who they believe is ready to be their latest backup goaltender. On Monday they signed him to a two-year deal.

The Blackhawks inked two players on Monday, Forsberg, whose contract runs through the 2018-19 season, and Tomas Jurco, who agreed to a one-year contract extension.

Forsberg joins the Blackhawks having very little NHL experience – he’s played 10 career games at this level, going 1-8-0. But the Blackhawks’ previous two backup goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Scott Darling, hadn’t made an NHL appearance before joining the Blackhawks. Forsberg led the Cleveland Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL-affiliate team, to a Calder Cup title in 2016; during that run he went 9-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .949 save percentage.

On Friday, when the Blackhawks acquired Saad and Forsberg from Columbus for Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte, general manager Stan Bowman said the team is, “optimistic about Anton’s potential.”

“We like his profile as a goalie,” he said. “He’s a big guy, takes up a lot of net, has that mobility and makes good positional saves as well as athletic saves. A year ago, led his team to the [Calder] Cup championships, so he knows what it’s like to put a team on his back. It was the AHL but he’s had a lot of success there. He’s earned the right to be an NHL goalie.”

Jurco, acquired by the Blackhawks from Detroit in February, played 13 games with them down the regular-season stretch. Bowman said shortly after the trade that Jurco would get a chance here.

“We’ll be patient with him but we really think there’s a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play,” he said. “I think a lot of ways, sometimes guys need different opportunities. It doesn’t work out in every place. A fresh start will be great for Tomas.”

Blackhawks notebook: A busy draft, free agency and RFAs

Blackhawks notebook: A busy draft, free agency and RFAs

Eight draft picks in about 3 ½ hours. It was a busy Saturday for the Blackhawks, and when general manager Stan Bowman talked that afternoon about the team’s Day 2 haul, he came prepared.

“I have my little cheat sheet,” Bowman said of the paper on which he had written the Blackhawks’ eight newest prospects.

After a few days’ worth of moves the Blackhawks focused on the future, taking nine players over two days at the NHL Draft. It was a successful weekend for the Blackhawks, who hosted the draft for the first time and built up assets, especially on the blue line. Five of the Blackhawks’ nine selections were defensemen.

“One of the things we talked about was looking at the market. There’s a high value on defensemen. We’re not necessarily looking at the draft but our team this year and over the next couple of years; those are the assets that are valuable around the league,” Bowman said. “Look at the trade Calgary made [for Travis Hamonic], defensemen are a valuable commodity. That was a priority coming in and we were able to accomplish it.”

What comes next

The Blackhawks got what they wanted at this weekend’s draft but the focus will soon shift, as free agency opens on July 1. It remains to be seen what the Blackhawks will have cap-wise come a week from now. Currently, according to CapFriendly.com, they’re $1.445 million over the $75 million cap. It’s doubtful the Blackhawks apply the long-term injured reserve tag on Marian Hossa during the offseason. It’s possible they could still trade Marcus Kruger to gain some space. Bowman said, one way or another, “there will be some movement.”

“We’ll bring some players in, I don’t know how many, what position or what level,” he said. “This is where there’s a lot of activity, the couple weeks in the middle of June until the middle of July. That’s when the most changes happen. We’ll go to work, now that we’re past this.”

Wait for it

The Blackhawks also have to decide whether or not to qualify restricted free agents Dennis Rasmussen and Tomas Jurco. Bowman said that’ll be decided by Monday.

“I’ve had discussions with both agents,” he said. “I don’t have an answer right now but we’ll have that worked out in the next day and a half.”