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Time to move Brian Boyle?

Photo credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Photo credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Often it is the smaller, less heralded moves that make the difference in playoff races. So as the Rangers approach the trade deadline in good form, but still with flaws, should they make any additions? In most cases you have to give to receive, and if the Rangers want to make a real upgrade to their team they will need to consider moving a current piece of the roster.

One player who has quietly had a solid season – even during the dark, inept start laid down by the Rangers – is Brian Boyle. He’s also one player whose future in New York is unclear. We have discussed here numerous times the merits of Boyle’s defensive game, his face-off skills, and his underrated role on the Rangers. While his 21 goal season has proved to be the exception to the rule, even his 10 points so far this year have been welcome help.

All that said, it appears Boyle may be an ex-Ranger soon. Larry Brooks published negative sounding comments from Boyle regarding his future, and pointed out his regressing role as the Rangers have become increasingly disciplined on the ice. Would it make sense to move Boyle? Can the Rangers replace his PK prowess?

While Boyle leads all Ranger forwards in PK ice time – 2:05/game – Dom Moore (with 1:56/game) has proven to be a strong penalty killer as well. Both Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin average well over a minute per game. Callahan, if not for the injuries he has sustained this year, would likely be averaging more. With Mats Zuccarello’s increasing relevance to the penalty kill this year, and Derek Stepan ability to play the PK (not to mention Derek Dorsett’s eventual return), there are plenty of capable players to fill the penalty killing role.

As the cliché goes:  Your best penalty killer has to be your goaltender, and with Henrik Lundqvist’s return to form the Rangers could risk trading Boyle if it helps acquire an upgrade elsewhere. This is especially true if they don’t intend on bringing back the giant Ranger next season.

Penalty killers, size, and of course face-off ability are hotly sought after commodities come playoff time. It is probably in the Rangers interests to retain Boyle, but it all comes down to supply and demand. If Boyle is part of a package that brings back a solid offensive weapon or an additional right-handed defenseman, then the Rangers need to consider moving Boyle.

39 Responses to “Time to move Brian Boyle?”

  1. Tiki Tim says:

    Please get rid of this guy!  I despise him.  

    • Stepan21 says:

      You dispise him for no reason at all. You expect him to score goals and beat guys up but that’s not his game and the coaching staff know this. They use him for D zone starts and on the PK. He gets his even strength shifts as a shutdown line with Moore & Carcillo. They have been the best 4th line the Rangers have had in 6-10 seasons. Boyle does his job more consistently than any other skater on the team. Aside from McDonagh maybe. I think with Moore and when Dorsett returns, they could trade him because they don’t need both Centers Moore & Boyle but the return has to be good. Boyle makes a high salary ($1.7mil) for a 4th liner but he is 3rd on the team in hits & 7th in blocked shots. He also kills 44% of NYR total PK mins. That’s huge and he’s a player that other teams will be auctioning for. One thing is for sure is the PK will not be as good without him so the guy(s) coming back had better be able to Kill. If he scored 5-6 more goals, he might be gone already. He’s not fast and can’t skate the best but he is at 100% every shift.

  2. Zesta says:

    With him being a UFA and having to already give pay raises to Cally and Girardi moving him would be the right move instead of letting him walk with nothing in return.

    • Tiki Tim says:

      I’d trade Girardi, too. He’s overrated to begin with, is past his best days, and would bring back at least a couple of high draft picks. If they can get a 2nd or 3rd rd draft pick for Boyle, I’ll drive him to the airport

      • Kenneth at clinchers of '89Flames '94Rangers '96Avs says:

        A 2 or 3 for Brian Boyle? That would be the steal of the century.

      • @Centerman21 says:

        If they move Girardi then they’ll end up with 5 lefties on the blue line or have to find a righty that can play 22+ mins a night. Those players are few and far between. Not a good move to trade Girardi if they have playoff aspirations this season.

        • Tiki Tim says:

          They have no chance at competing for the Stanley Cup this season.  They should try to acquire assets for the future while also attempting to make the playoffs.  IMO

          • @Centerman21 says:

            Bro. You’re a Ranger fan to the end I’m sure and it’s not easy to admit when it’s that time. To give in and start over but I don’t think it’s that time yet. They haven’t played their best hockey yet still and that’s not a bad thing. As long as they keep on getting better. Nash needs to keep getting better. Next year will bring changes with all the UFA’s. Sather has one last year with the group he assembled. I’d think he’s gonna be a buyer. As for Boyle, I’ve been a big fan but I don’t think they need both him and Moore. Moore is the same player but faster and fits AV hockey better so get what you can from a Western team for him.

            • Mark says:

              I am not the biggest Boyle fan (i just think he is solid at what he does), but if the Rangers  move him and do not get something decent we will be looking for a defensive center with size for years to come. He does not fight well at all but he does stick his nose in there and he does hit and he does play defense. Why must it be that the guys making 1.5MM are always the first to be considered cap casualties, When they have about 6 or 7 guys making over 4 million? I can understand trading a guy but not because he sucks up cap money at 1.7MM. If he is moved it should be in a package and not for a guy who will be gone again in no time .

        • Tiki Tim says:

          I’m not content with the mediocrity that is the Rangers, to get into the playoffs and be sent golfing in the first 2 rounds.  I want better.  Girardi & Boyle (despite my extreme dislike for him) are both assets that can help the Rangers build for the future.

        • Kenneth at clinchers of '89Flames '94Rangers '96Avs says:

          Is there a law that requires each team to have a 1st pair RH and LH D?

          • @Centerman21 says:

            It’s not a rule but the D pair of 2 lefties are at a disadvantage against top competition. Especially the lefty on the right side. Both D should have their forehand facing the boards. A Lefty D on the offensive blue line is also at a disadvantage. Like a lefty playing shortstop or 2nd-3rd base in MLB. look at the top 5 PP in the NHL. They have
            3 & 2 L/R mixed in. They’re also able to have guys all over the ice on their off side. ie Lefty on RW and Righties on the left. There has to be balance. The Rangers could have a top 3 PP with 1 or 2 more righties mixed into the 2 PP units. It’s not the end all but it’s important for sure. DZ has been better since going back to his normal left side.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          Playoffs. How about a cup. A  team built to win a cup. If that means moving Girardi or Boyle now for assets lets do it.How about finding a lefty who plays a solid right side. I wouldn’t over pay for these 2 players they are replacable. Both are solid grinding  team players who would bring a helpful return in picks or players.

    • Stepans21(Centerman) 21 says:

      You could be right about him and his contract. Every player wants more money on their 1st UFA deal. He also watched his good buddy & roommate leave for Montreal with a $2 million raise on his last deal. However, he’s not a goal scorer so he’s really not a fit on any teams 2nd or 3rd line. As a 4th line player $1.7 mil is paid handsomely. I’d think he would settle for $1.7 – $2.0 mil per on a 3-4 year deal. I think it depends on how AV feels he fits in the long term plans. Moore is a better/faster skater and signed for 1 mil. Carcillo-Moore-Dorsett is as effective 4th line as you can get.
      I personally would try to offer DZ & Boyle to Colorado for Ryan O’Reilly. Or Stastny if that’s who they want to move. Patty Roy likes his defensive structure and The Avs have a couple extra Centers and some like ROR are playing wing. With Richards gone this summer they need a top 6 Centerman. Otherwise let Boyle leave this summer. He isn’t a star player. He does a lot for this team now that’ll be needed in the playoffs.

    • Dave says:

      MDZ is restricted, not a UFA.

  3. Gary says:

    With all of the trade rumors surrounding this team lately, would be possible to workout a deal  for AO? They need help stopping goals.  

  4. Paul in sunrise says:

    While Boyle is valuable heis redundant on this team right now. Trading him fr an asset a pick OR roster player in different mold would be smartest move IMHO. Do not read this post as being a Boyle hater. I am a fan. He has trade value that will not disrupt the evolution of this team moving to the playoffs.

  5. Dave says:

    I can see him being moved. I’m a big Boyle fan, he does a lot for this team that many don’t realize. But Moore/Dorsett/Cally/Hagelin/Stepan can cover the PK. If packaging, say him and MDZ, gets a solid RHD, I’d do it.

  6. Kenneth at clinchers of '89Flames '94Rangers '96Avs says:

    Boyle is expendable. While he is a decent player, his peak is as a 4L. He can easily be replaced.

  7. VinceR says:

    Love this blog because it’s one of the few places you see well-reasoned thoughts on Boyler. In the articles anyway.  In the comments, not so much.

  8. Brian says:

    while I’m open to trade more or less anyone, I’d be reluctant to trade Boyle unless we receive back a 2nd round pick or useful asset.   while some of us (self included) over values our assets, I think Boyle’s a good 3rd or 4th line player, great penalty killer, strong at face offs, and a good locker room presence.  Again, open, but don’t give him away as he’s a decent hockey player (type of player we’d be looking for if he wasn’t on our team).

    • Walt says:

      Brian
      Agree, but if the article mentioned by Brooks is true, then he may walk at the end of the year, and we are empty handed. 
      That stated, I’d move him, if the return is what the team needs, we and wish him well.  The guy has been a very productive player, that people look at and say, with his size, he should do more.  He isn’t cut out to be a tough guy, dropping the gloves I mean, and it upsets many on this blog for it!
      If, and when he is moved, that’s when people will miss what he brings to the team!!!!!!!

  9. AD says:

    We seem to forget Boyle has been one of our top players in the past two seasons’ playoffs, and we haven’t been good at replacing our bottom line role players (Prust, Mitchell, Fedetenko).  These players are actually important to any team’s success.
    I am confident other teams have noticed Boyle’s playoff performances and top seed teams looking to make a cup run will pay handsomely for Boyle.  Late 2nd round pick, at a minimum.
     

    • Seahorse says:

      Agreed. 4th liners show their value in the playoffs

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Our 3rd and 4th lines  have been out played in past  playoffs. Chimera,Chris Neal and Ryan Carter have exposed our bottom6 . Boyle is replaceable.

  10. Todd says:

    The Rangers have been playing solid hockey the last few weeks….what a relief, however they need to make a move. Nothing major but getting a consistent role player. Moving Boyle is not a bad idea but I would rather see Del Zotto shown the door. In the last two seasons he had so many mental lapses that led to goals. I don’t think this kid has what it takes to play in high pressure situations.
     

    • Todd says:

      I meant to say Del Zotto sucked during the last two playoff runs.

      • In the playoffs against Ottowa, Chris Neal pretty much had his way with the Rangers intimidating everyone EXCEPT MDZ who leveled him behind the net and in front of the next.  Neal when he wasn’t whining to the refs about MDZ, pretty much got taken out of the series.

  11. Jimmy Jam says:

    Hey Tiki, are you the same butt-wad who used to pollute the lohud blog?

    • Dave says:

      Comment Rules: Write only what you’d say to a person’s face. Keep it civil and when you disagree, propose an alternative. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  12. Jimmy Jam says:

    good luck with that guy Dave

  13. maskdman3 says:

    “Please let the Rangers trade Boyle and Girardi so that I don’t have to face them in the playoffs again” – A. Ovechkin