Opportunity for Boyle

August 31, 2012, by

No question, the Rangers made a huge splash this summer with the acquisition of Rick Nash. Thanks to the move the Rangers find themselves with more (legitimate) elite talent than they have had in well over a decade but at some stage even top line players need offensive support. Even the dominant Edmonton Oilers of the 1980’s had role players step up when needed.

With the loss of Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov the Rangers lost two core role players. They lost two home grown Rangers that proved they had offensive ability, even if they lacked consistency. Unfortunately you have to give to receive. With those two gone however, it offers a bigger chance for another player or two to step up. Forget Callahan, Stepan and Kreider. All three could be needed in the top six and will be counted on to various degrees.

The opportunity that presents itself is a perfect chance for Brian Boyle to reassert himself as a critical piece in the Rangers line up. Boyle needs a good season. While he came on toward the end of last year, offensively he wasn’t as effective as he was during his breakout season a year prior.

Despite continuing in his role as a defensively reliable player Boyle will need to offer more up the other end of the ice given the Rangers’ up and coming array of centers in the system such as Steven Fogarty, Mike St Croix and Oscar Lindberg. Each offers legitimate NHL potential either as an offensive player or as a checking center while offering the benefit of significant cap savings as opposed to Boyle.

That all said Boyle can be a unique player. When he chooses to use his considerable frame to his advantage it is hard to stop him and he has the ability to be a difference maker both ends of the ice. Boyle is the club’s third choice center but this role should offer plenty of offensive possibilities this coming season.

Boyle could start the season with the likes of Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan or when Gaborik returns from injury Boyle may find himself centering Chris Kreider. Assuming Boyle starts on the third, there won’t be a shortage of offensive ability on his line. With Anisimov and Dubinsky gone, there is ice time to take advantage of while the presence of Nash and co. in the top six could open up numerous, advantageous match ups for the Rangers third line. In short, there is the chance for Boyle to step up offensively. Thanks to the Rangers prospects en route, he may need to.


  1. ranger17 says:

    Would love to see the Boyler turn into an Espo type of center . Like the NY lotto you never know

  2. Walt says:

    I think Boyle serves a good role, and does a decent job of it!

    Listen, there is plenty of room for improvement with this guy, and if he would only exert his will, place himself in front of the net, be a trash collector, he would be a keeper. A third line of Boyle, Pyatt, and either Kreider, or Hags can do some damage for us this season. Defensively, they are solid, and can drive a team crazy with their forecheck. I just hope Brian gets his scoreing touch again.

  3. TeaneckMike says:

    Incredible how people listen to the team hype and see Steven Fogarty, Mike St Croix and Oscar Lindberg as such having such strong potential, especially for that level of draft choice. So was Hugh Jesssiman, Bobby Sanguinetti, Laurie Korpokoski, Al Montoya, Pavel Brendl, Jamie Lunmark, and on and on and on. Let’s all calm down.

    • SalMerc says:

      Here Here! Players need to do it at the NHL level for a few years before they are Legit. Promising prospects are always good to have, but I think one of five becomes an impact player at the NHL level.

      As for Boyle, I think his best days are behind him as the concussion has taken it’s toll. We need to use him carefully, but not run him out there 20+ minutes a game just becuase he is a wide-body. He has value, but not every shift anymore.

      • Scully says:

        He had one concussion and it’s been 3+ months since he played a game. How do you know whether or not it’s taken it’s toll? Also how do you know his best days are behind him? He’s not even 30.

    • wwpd says:

      Mike, sanguinetti was six years ago. are we still upset about that?

      fogarty, st croix, and lindberg may not be the second coming of mark messier, but any one of them has a decent shot at turning into a guy that could displace BB at some point

  4. Walt says:

    Amen, well stated Scully!

  5. Mikeyyy says:

    When Boyle’s skating was an issue he went and fixed it. This last season his scoring touch wasn’t there.

    I am sure he’s working on it right now.

  6. rob sahm says:

    i think you are wrong st.croix is going to be legit nhl player while i see lindberg as a checking 3rd line center

  7. rob sahm says:

    boyle has the talent to be a keith primeau type player. but he has to be more consistent