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UFA of the Day: Brian Boyle

Jun 17, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Brian Boyle

It doesn’t sound like the big forward is going to be with the Rangers next season. Boyle said yesterday that he wants to make more of “an impact going forward,” that he wants to have “more responsibility.”

And an expanded role doesn’t seem to mesh with what the Rangers want from the 29-year-old.

Boyle scored a career-high 21 goals for the Rangers in 2010-11, but that was under John Tortorella, when the player averaged almost 16 minutes per contest.

Under Vigneault this season, Boyle scored just six time in 82 games, averaging 12:46 of ice time. He formed part of an effective fourth line for the Rangers in the playoffs, but “everyone obviously wants to score more goals,” he said.

Boyle’s expiring contract paid him $5.1 million over three years, for a cap hit of $1.7 million. He’ll likely be looking for a raise, which is another reason he may have to move on from the Rangers, who don’t have a ton of financial flexibility.

One of the biggest players in the NHL, Boyle finished the playoffs as the Rangers’ leading hitter (69) among forwards. He’ll fight on occasion, but he’s not an enforcer. He’s a decent faceoff guy, though, and he’s got a good sense of humor, according to former teammate Brandon Dubinsky.

“Boyle is a funny guy,” Dubinsky said last year. “He’s a character, a great guy, a great guy for the room and a good player, too. He was a good teammate to have.”

  1. tomas3345 - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Going to miss him on the rangers

  2. iowa02 - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Where would he go. What team could he fit in with. He played alright when Torts was the coach and was downgraded with AV. Was it because he did not adjust to the system or was it because the money players needed to be on the ice more. Just wondering.

    • buckhome - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      His game didn’t downgrade because of AV. Other than that one great scoring season, Boyle didn’t have any other great seasons with Torts either.

      He’s a great 3rd/4th line center and PK guy. Nothing more, nothing less.

  3. thatguytml92 - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    I hope the leafs try and sign him. I think they would be able to give him the role he’s looking for and also give the leafs some more size. If rather him then mcclement

  4. caniac4ever - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Would love it if the Hurricanes can sign him. We desperately need to get bigger. I hope we end up drafting Ritchie also.

  5. homerx - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I hope the Rags can find a way to keep him. he has not been the same since suffering the concussion against Ottawa 2 years ago in the playoffs but still a very good role player.

  6. hockeydon10 - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Not a fan of Rangers or Kings. I gotta say, he was one of the more noticeable Rangers during the finals. Granted, he’s not going to score 40 or anything like that, but he seemed to do his particular job better than some of the big names on the Rangers did theirs.

  7. 7mantel - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    I would hate to see him leave ,he was a work horse all year playing against other teams top lines and on the PK !

  8. geejon - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    When he was a 3rd line center he was roasted for not doing enough. When AV made him a 4th line winger he became everyone’s favorite. Amazing what lowered expectations can do for a player’s image. To whatever team wants to give him a 3 yr $11mil deal and have him center their 3rd line just check his history in NY since that one year he scored 20 goals. He’s not a goal scorer. He’s def not a centerman. He’s a solid defensive winger who’s good on faceoffs and excels on the pk. Make sure you know what you’re paying for and expect if you sign him.

    • DED - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Thank you, for bringing this up. During the regular season, I figured that he was going to be out of job come next fall. With his playoff performance, there’s all this talk in the hockey media about how good he is and I was wondering if they really knew Brian Boyle.

      If he was truly a goal scorer (he’s had his opportunities), he easily have double what he’s come up with. There have been plenty of times where I’ve heard fellow Ranger fans curse him for not coming through on his scoring chances.

      I’d take him back at his current role. I can see him making $2.25 million but no more. Any more is overpaying him.

  9. stakex - Jun 17, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    A raise? He would be lucky to get the same amount going forward, and he lacks the offensive skill to play much more of an expanded role than he already does.

    When you really look at it, Boyle is a solid faceoff guy that can kill penalties and throw a big hit from time to time. That’s all fine and great, but he just doesn’t bring much to the table on offense. That 21 goal season was four years ago, and in the three seasons since Boyle has scored only 19 goals total and had 4 goals in 71 games the year before it. That’s pretty definitive proof that his one decent offensive season was little more than a fluke.

    The real problem for Boyle is that the only teams likely to give him an expanded role would be bottom feeding teams looking to add depth on the 2nd/3rd line. He’s just not good enough to be a top 6 forward on a contending team…. plain and simple.

  10. bleedrangerblue - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Stakex I agree. He’s a role player ands granted he played well in the playoffs. But that’s it. He’s not a scorer or a finisher in my opinion. 4th line at best

  11. mattybo - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    As a rangers fan, he has the tendency to be an enraging player to watch. Maybe it stems from what homerx said in his comment about being concussed, but he can play softer than people a foot shooter on hitting and other nights can lay the wood. Plenty of games he spends hitting like a complete nancy which i know really pissed off torts (which isn’t hard to do).

  12. cheggy1731 - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    If he’s good on draws, the Hawks could use him on the 3rd or 4th line ….. pair him with big wingers like Bickell and Bolig …. and you’ll have the KILLER “B” line

  13. c9castine - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    hed help his cause out a lot if he was a winger.

  14. johnstone17 - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:42 AM

    There will be a GM that will over pay for someone who is not a strong skater who scored a total of 9 goals in 105 total games. Excellent fore checker, grinder, mucker, shot blocker & penalty killer. A quintessential 4th liner.

  15. hacks1010 - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Good 3rd or 4th liner. If he understood his size could be more

  16. 311sucks - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    wish the preds would buyout gaustad and sign this dude instead.

  17. rupp246 - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    He had great playoff run with the rangers, but he is definitely a role player. I would like to see him stay, but if we lose him, it’s not a major loss.

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