The Boston Bruins lost a little bit of their forward depth last weekend when Par Lindholm was released from his NHL contract and is headed home to Sweden.
The 29-year-old Lindholm appeared in one game this season for the Bruins but had mostly been on the taxi squad while younger players like Anders Bjork and Trent Frederic were getting reps on the fourth line. So, the Swedish center decided to ask for his release and head back to his native Sweden where he will play for the Skelleftea AIK team where he made a name for himself before playing the last three seasons in North America.
Lindholm recently had a newborn baby back in Sweden that he was missing while playing for the Bruins this season in North America, and Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated that played a major role in his decision. It’s pretty clear a diminished role with the Bruins where he was further down the depth charts wasn’t helping matters either this season.
The Bruins placed Lindholm on waivers on Sunday for the purpose of his release so he could head home.
“He had a baby either just before, or just after, we went into the bubble. I think being away from his family was tough on him…to get motivated to practice every day as an extra guy where he may or may not get in. I talked to [Lindholm] on Sunday about it,” said Cassidy of Lindholm, who was a solid penalty killer and extra forward last season with three goals and six points in 40 games along with a plus-6 rating for the Boston Bruins. “We were honest with him from Day One and told him we were going to give looks to some younger guys, and it was going to be a little bit of a different mix. [Trent] Frederic is a guy that has put in his time at Providence, is a bigger body and a different style than [Lindholm] and we’re going to give him a chance.
“So, it’s going to come at the expense of [Lindholm]. It’s tough especially when you don’t get the benefit of exhibition games to see how much a player might have progressed. He knew that up front. He wasn’t disappointed in us in any way. He just felt that getting motivated to practice every day was tough for him when he missed his family back home, and we respected that. We lose some depth and a good guy, but we have [Greg] McKegg and maybe there will be some guys from Providence that can fill in down the road.”
Certainly they will miss Lindholm to some degree if their center depth gets challenged, particularly if it happens among the bottom-6 forward group. As Cassidy indicated, McKegg and Anton Blidh become the first two players likely to get the call if extra bodies, or some sandpaper, become needed on the fourth line. The Bruins have enough forward depth that they jettisoned Jack Studnicka to Providence last week as well to get playing time and develop his board work as a player they’ll be using on the wing this season.