There’s no question that what happened to Dave Bolland’s season was a tragedy.

A hometown hero, in his first season with the team he grew up cheering for, has a great first 14 games and then suffers a devastating injury in the 15th, enough to ruin any chance of making much of an impact on the 2013-14 Toronto Maple Leafs.

You can see why management wants to read into that and right a wrong. They believed Bolland – airlifted in after winning two Stanley Cups in the last four years with Chicago – would be an integral piece to their team climbing the standings and playing a tougher brand of hockey. They still believe, 10 months later, that’s the case.

But the Bolland they’re trying to bring back isn’t the same Bolland they acquired last summer.

Bolland has played eight games since returning from a cut ankle tendon back in November, a remarkable feat given the extent of the injury, and it has been a tough go. He looks tentative, has been on the ice for a lot of key goals against and coach Randy Carlyle, Bolland’s biggest booster, is reluctant to play him.

After Saturday’s loss, the coach noted Bolland’s having so much trouble with the ankle that it is “rolling” on him and causing him to fall to the ice during games.