Panthers send Dave Bolland, Lawson Crouse to Coyotes for draft picks

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Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes keep adding salary while the Florida Panthers found a taker for a bad contract.

In a deal with the Panthers Thursday morning, the Coyotes acquired Dave Bolland and Lawson Crouse — the No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft — in exchange for a 2017 third-round pick (the better of Arizona/Detroit) and a 2018 second rounder.

Per Craig Custance, that second-round pick is conditional and turns into a third rounder if Crouse does not play enough games in Arizona this season (10) to burn a year of his entry-level contract. Also, should the Coyotes deal Crouse this season that pick remains a second.

Crouse, who is in Toronto this week for BioSteel Camp, was informed of the deal early Thursday morning by Panthers GM Tom Rowe.

“It’s a new opportunity to go into a new organization and show my talent and show them what I’m made of,” said Crouse, who’s been working out with Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome, to Sportsnet.

Bolland is currently injured and was unable to be bought out by the Panthers this summer after playing only 25 games during the 2015-16 season. He has three years remaining on his deal and carries a $5.5 million cap hit after signing a five-year, $27.5 million deal with Florida in 2014. It’s unsure when he’ll play again.

According to General Fanager, this now leaves the Coyotes a little over $2 million under the cap ceiling. That dollar amount includes the contracts of Pavel Datsyuk and Chris Pronger, who both will not be playing in the NHL any time soon. The Panthers, meanwhile, freed up space that gives them a $9 million cushion below the ceiling. With new contracts due for Jonathan Huberdeau and Alex Petrovic at some point this season, plus the inevitable one-year extension for Jaromir Jagr, Rowe has some room to work with.

For the Coyotes, it’s a bold strategy by GM John Chayka; but in exchange for taking on some ugly cap hits, he’s acquired draft picks and added to his prospect cupboard. Those prospects will either be the foundation on the ice of the franchise’s turnaround or be trade chips used to cash in to fill needs later on.

UPDATE:

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!