Should the Rangers retain Brian Boyle?

March 10, 2014, by
(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)

(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)

With the regular season coming to an end in a few short weeks, speculation will increase as to whether Brian Boyle should be retained or not. For the right price, Glen Sather should absolutely keep Boyle – for the short term. It may be Boyle’s demands that scupper any extension with New York, but from a pure skill perspective he still fills multiple needs for the Rangers.

The Rangers are not a good face-off team. Derek Stepan is at best inconsistent in the face-off circle and, with Brad Richards likely to leave in the summer, the Rangers definitely need some face-off proficiency wherever they can get it. This is a big reason why keeping Boyle is a wise move. Boyle is a solid defensive player (he’s one of the best fourth line players in the game) and he’s essential to the penalty kill, A big part of that is because of his face-off ability.

While the Rangers have a prospect such as Oscar Lindberg in the wings (who according to reports, excels in the circle), too much turnover at center ice is never a good thing. Boyle’s ability to play the wing is an additional benefit and given his skill set, should he become marginalised during his next contract – because of the progression of someone like Lindberg – he’d surely be an easy player to move on. Strong face-off guys with size are always in demand.

As always, price will be a huge influence on Boyle’s future. Several weeks ago Boyle sounded pessimistic as to whether his future was with the Rangers, so it doesn’t sound like the Rangers were overly keen to commit, particularly if his cost was to rise. With 15 points on the season, Boyle has chipped in a decent amount of offense from the 4th line especially. When you account for his usage (24% OZ starts) and the inconsistent nature of New York’s offense, it’s on par with reasonable expectations.

Boyle will never reach the 20-goal plateau again, nor should he be expected to, but he’s a great fit as a 4th line defensive role player. Retaining Boyle at his current rate for a year or two would be a solid deal for both sides. An even better deal for the Rangers would be if he would be willing to reduce his salary demands (unlikely). Could Boyle earn more elsewhere? Absolutely. There are plenty of teams looking for centermen. With cap floors to reach for many teams, it’s a big offseason for Boyle as he ponders his future.

At this stage, it’s unclear whether Boyle’s priority is money or a more prominent role elsewhere. But if he’s willing to commit to the Rangers on a team friendly deal then the Rangers should retain the big bodied Boyle. A player that adds to team depth, who brings face-off skills and assists a solid penalty kill. Why would you give up a player who can do all that?

"Should the Rangers retain Brian Boyle?", 4 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.


  1. cnp says:

    For the right price yes, but can’t overpay for 4th line production

    • Tim B says:

      I totally agree with you. BSB staff how much would you say Boyle is worth per year? Certainly not $1.7 which is what he makes now. I want to know how much he is asking for.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        $1.7 mil per is already a bit much for a 4th liner. I assume he’d want a raise with the cap ceiling rising this summer. So for that I doubt he is a Ranger next year.
        For this and other reasons, I thought Sather should have looked for the right trade for Boyle before this past deadline. Having him and Moore is a Luxury. Sure it’s great having 2 capable Faceoff men on the same line in case 1 is kicked out but Carcillo is a Lefty (LW) playing on the right side with Boyle on the left. Having Dorsett in there allows Carcillo to play his left side and adds a much needed righty to a lefty heavy team.
        Pouliot is a righty but he plays his off side on the LW. That leaves Stepan & Dorsett as the only righty forwards. Not much balance on the PP or at even strength. Balance makes it harder to defend for the Opposition. Moore is the same player with more offensive ability and puck moving skills. I cover my eyes when Boyle has the puck in the neutral zone. It’s like a disaster waiting to happen.

        • Forever 1994 says:

          Boyle will probably want somewhere in the 2 mil vicinity. Bring up Lindberg let Moore move on and put Dorsett and Carcillo w/Lindberg for a pretty good 4th line. We also have to find a spot for Miller. He is a future top 6th forward!

    • Tim B says:

      Rangers may want to resign Powe if Boyle leaves. Powe was also good at faceoffs and the penalty kill. He would be cheaper. How did he do in Hartford this year?

      • Dave says:

        Powe is nowhere near the player Boyle is.

        • Fotiu is God says:

          Dude, not only that, but Brian Boyle is like something out of a Frank McCourt novel: a throwback Irish Catholic with upwards of a dozen siblings. Plus the best ‘stache in the NHL since Harold Snepts.

  2. Seahorse says:

    As you’ve said many times he’s a 4 th line player on any team that has stanley cup aspirations

  3. Steve says:

    I try to never say this about anyone or their opinion. But people who do not realize the value of Brian Boyle or talk about how terrible he is(lol, sorry it’s laughable) Know nothing about hockey, are stupid and their opinions sucks. I agree it has to be the right price but absolutely they should look to retain him

    • Dave says:

      People see his size and assume he should meet their demands as a bruiser who fights 24/7. I’d rather have someone who can play the game. Boyle is one of the best 4th liners in the NHL.

    • Gary says:

      No tell us how you REALLY feel Steve! FWIW, I totally agree w/ you about Boiler’s value. He’s the kind of guy that’s missed when he’s gone.

      Love him as a 4th liner if he’s reasonable on the $$ demands.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        Watch the next time Boyle is in the penalty box. It’s a PP goal for the opposition. So far every time I’ve seen him take a penalty. The other team scored on their PP. that’s what Boyle means but he may not like 4th line mins and may want more money. He’s just not a top 9 player. Not good enough with the puck. He scores when the puck comes to him and he shoots if in prime scoring position it’s a goal. Just like the Det game. I’d love to keep him between Carcillo & Dorsett but he will likely price himself out of NY. 4th liners make $1 mil per or less. He may want what Prust got from Montreal and may even go there to be with his buddy again. They’re always looking to get bigger and harder to play against.

    • Walt says:


      Agree 10000%, the man does what he does well. He won’t score much, but as a 4th line center, he is valuable. But it has to be for the right price!!!

      • TxRanger says:

        Ever since that 21 goal season, expectations for him were too high. That season kinda put a damper on people’s perspectives of him.

  4. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Yes retain him and Dom Moore and add kyle Beach to that line for next year

    • Dave says:

      You are aware that Beach is career AHL, right? Just because he can fight doesn’t mean he can, you know, play.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        Yeah…he can also play…he does have soft hands..Beach would be a fighter for his role on the team, and chip in 5 to 8 goals,,,Not bad for an enforcer…plus he is a right handed shot

        • Chris A says:

          I’d just rather have Dorsett. Great teams don’t carry heavyweights on their roster anymore.

          • Mark says:

            Maybe not.. But Pittsburgh has one and Boston has a couple..and they are pretty good teams. Now those guys can actually play a bit..although Engelland is not a great dman by a long shot. Doesn’t have to be an enforcer type but this Ranger team is soft and if they have 11 other forwards with some skill then having one tougher bigger guy won’t set them back. A guy like Neal (not from a great team) wears the Rangers out. And guys like Hartnell and Simmonds take loads of liberties. Lets all hope that McIlrath makes it.

          • Jim says:

            I’d rather have Dorsett too. a 4th line of
            Carcillo-Moore/Boyle-Dorsett would bring energy and some grit that the Rangers are lacking and will need in the playoffs against teams like Philly and Boston. Although it looks like Dorsett may have lost his job since coming back from the imjury as he has played sparingly, I hope he reclaims his spot in the lineup.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      There’s a reason Chicago gave him away for nothing. I doubt he ever gets consistent NHL mins with the NYR. Id like it if he did. He’s a big 4th liner that can police the game but it’s not likely. The kid can’t play a team game in the pros. Needs much work.

  5. Ray V says:

    Only if he does not get greedy. His a fourth liner as stated above

  6. Harry says:

    For the right price, I’d love Boyle to stay, but l could easily see him getting a Prust like deal from another team.

  7. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I am curious to see what happens with Richards , now that St Louis is a Ranger

    • 1nyn8v says:

      Why would people thumbs down that comment? It’s a realistic and valid comment.

      St. Louis aside, if there is no viable, affordable, replacement for Richie (and, yes, I’ve heard the “get Stastny” cries, but he makes the same as Richards, and will want more…and has been dealing with back issues all season) , they may decide to keep him, especially when they are in win-now mode.

      Plus, if he gets hurt near the end of the season, they can’t buy him out.

      So, yeah, I’m curious too.

      • Dave says:

        I’ve never really understood why people thumbs up or down certain comments.

        • FlynBrian61 says:

          Think of it as if you’re standing behind them while they’re talking, and you’re nodding your head up and down, or side to side…

    • Dave says:

      Slats said it won’t affect Richards status, and I have no reason to believe otherwise. The smart move is to buy him out. The risk is too great.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        The Cap is expected to be near $80 mil in a few years. If Richie gives 4 more years then even the penalties for 2 years aren’t that bad and if he’s injured they can put him on LTIR for the remainder of that contract. I don’t think they absolutely have to buy him out. Especially with MSL here and the obvious chemistry between the 2. It’ll come in handy when the playoffs start. I see them 2 being huge come playoff time.

  8. jcosmopolitan says:

    You say he should be retained at the same salary he’s now earning, but you never said how much that is. Please comment.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      ^I think he is about 1.8 mil per yr cap hit.

      My opinion on the max we should go to resign him would be 2 yrs at 2.5 mil or 3 yrs at 2 mil. What does everyone else think?

      I’d love to have him in the fold for the next few years when we are best poised to make a run at the cup. (Lundy under 35, before Nash’s decline, McDonagh being cost controlled, etc).

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        Don’t you think that’s a bit much for a 4th liner. Why not keep Prust if that kind of deal was acceptable for 4th line enforcers. Compare that to what Carcillo gets. That’s a 4th liners contract.

        • Hatrick Swayze says:

          Agree that it is a bit on the high side.. but he isn’t any old 4th liner who plays wing, throws the body around, fights occasionally and gets off the ice for important minutes i.e. Dorsett. He isn’t a 4th liner who needs to have sheltered minutes or is a matchup nightmare for his own coach. The guy is the rangers best defensive forward, penalty killer and faceoff guy. Plus every year in the playoffs he plays his best hockey. I don’t mind paying a slight premium for that with the cap expected to increase moving forward.

    • Dave says:

      He’s at a $1.7 million cap hit.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      Boyle makes about $1.7 mil per year now. That is about 1/2 mil high for a 4th liner. Then if he wants more like a $2.5 mil deal for 2-4 years. He’s toying with top 9 money and he’s not that kind of 2 way player. He can put up 20 points in a season but he’s horrible at carrying the puck and coughs it up too often on the Forecheck. I’d love for him to extend his current deal for 2-3 more years but I don’t see it happening. He’ll get 2+ mil per and his new team will hate him. Lol. I love Boiler but he should just stay a 4th liner for the Rangers. Even if they off a small cut in pay.

  9. SalMerc says:

    Bye-bye, so long, farewell!

    • Hatrick Swayze says:


      Which 5 Rangers are you most pleased with this year?

      • Gary says:

        I am not Sal, but I like the Q…

        1) MaCD
        2) Zuch
        3) Staal
        4) Pouliot
        5) Girardi

      • SalMerc says:

        Zucc, Kreider, Mcd, Gerardi and Nash.
        Boyle is good, but is in the way of a kid who needs to break into the NHL. Boyle is another guys who has “intangibles”. Kind of like Cally.

        Let me reiterate: Bye bye, so long, don’t let the door …..

        We can’t keep one way guys anymore. Look at Nash and St. Louis now killing penalties. 2-way players are needed on all 4 lines. Boyle is a fat Asham.

        • SalMerc says:

          I will give you my bottom 5:
          Boyle/Carcillo (tie)

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            I know this will all be for not… but Boyle deserves at least this much:

            Boyle is the Rangers best faceoff guy and our #1 penalty killer. He starts more shifts in the defensive zone than anyone else on the team and does a good job of driving possession up the ice, leading to faceoffs in the offensive and neutral zones in which we can deploy other, more offensive minded personnel. He does a damn good job of what he is supposed to do.

            Don’t you think that if at this point in his career Lindberg was better than Boyle, he would be in the NHL and not the minors? Will he eventually be a more effective 4th line center than Boyle? Maybe. Is he right now? Highly doubtful.

            Boyle is a player we have seen Torts and Vingeault deploy late in the games when we have a 1 goal lead. If he was only as good as a “fat Asham”, why on earth would more than 1 NHL coach lean on him in that situation? Probably because he is one of the most defensively responsible players in the game.

            Your Boyle hate is super aggravating.

          • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

            Until recently Strahlman was one of the best D on the team. He played well early on when we went 3-7 to start the year. Just the last 2 weeks since Olympic break he has not been great. Carcillo was a score. Hagelin has been the biggest dissapointment. I thought 25 goals were in his near future. Not so

        • Ray says:

          I think the Rangers would be fine if their forward lines consisted of twelves guys like Nash and St. Louis. The problem is they can’t afford twelve guys like that. You can’t pay for third and fourth line players that win games. You have to be content with guys who don’t lose games.

    • Dave says:

      I get the feeling you would say that to 90% of the team.

      • SalMerc says:

        Nope – Just Boyle and possibly Carcillo. Maybe if Boyle was that good at face-offs, he could teach his teammates.

        He is a 4th line player! He is no better than the 10th best forward on the team. Guys, open your eyes and see that he is average at best. No reason to even care if he re-signs. He is here until we lose our last game, then he should make the most money he can in the open market, but not Dolan dollars.

  10. Chris F says:

    Why does every Ranger with an expiring contract have an over – inflated sense of self worth?

    I am getting very frustrated with contract holdouts, i.e. Stepan, Dubinsky, unreasonable demands, i.e. Callahan, and rejection of generous offers, i.e. Stralman, Prust.

    Does no one want to play for the Rangers? I got lambasted (in dislikes) for suggesting there seems to be a trend here the other day on the Stralman thread. Now Boyle is hinting that he isn’t going to get the money he wants in NY.

    What happened between 2012, when every Ranger on the ice bled for their teammates and the organization, and now, when you can’t even bribe guys to stick around?

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      We, as fans, have alot of pride for the red white and blue. But take yourself out of the fan mindset and think as a professional. If you were a bank teller and Keybank would offer you 50k per year, Wells Fargo will give you 55k and Citi will give you 60k and a car…. who are you going to go with? My guess would be Citi. And would you give 2 shoots if I called you greedy? Of course not.

      Think along those lines.

      • Chris F says:

        I understand that it’s a business. However, it’s more than simply a paycheck for alot of guys. Some players have loyalty to an organization and their teammates. Others do not. Was it just a paycheck for Richter or Leetch?

        • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

          I can’t say for sure, since that was well before I started paying attention to these things, but my guess is Richter and Leech were paid market value for their services.

          Loyalty also goes both ways. When Sather is squeezing each player for every penny, what’s the difference if a player wants to get paid the most he can get?

          • Chris F says:

            That’s a good point. Sather playing hardball might be good business but it certainly doesn’t encourage loyalty.

          • Ray says:

            It is NOT the same thing. Sather has to deal with a salary cap. If Sather gave every player what they asked for, he could not afford to field a competitive team. If every player signed for Sather’s first offer, they would nearly all be set for life. Players should bargain to be treated fairly, but that’s it IMO.

            • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

              That’s a pretty vague statement…”bargain to be treated fairly”. One can argue that players being paid market value is an example of being treated fairly.

              • Ray says:

                No player is worth market value. Thirty GMs all try to decide what a player is worth and market value is the highest estimate. Since these subjective judgments will range from too low to too high, the highest will always be too high. There is no reason why a player can’t look at what players of similar ability make and see what he is worth.

            • JS says:

              Players don’t bargain. Their agents do…and it’s an agents job to negotiate what they believe to be the best possible deal for their client. If they don’t do that, then the player doesn’t need an agent.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        this is what went wrong with Sports…it became a business and greed interjected,,,,very sad, you are a kid and you want hockey cards,…no gum…too pricey….that’s sad too…I had Mickey Mantle cards as a kid…joe Nameth, you name it I had it…kids are missing out on FOMOH…LOL

      • Walt says:

        Well stated!! I laugh at some of the posts, where they say pay the asking price, or give them a raise. If it where your money, would you be that cavalier about throwing money at players who just aren’t worth it, because we like the guy?? I think not!!!!!

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      It’s all about the Benjamins. Welcome to sports in 2014, this isn’t unique to Rangers, or even hockey. This is a free agent world, and players want to make the most money they can in the limited amount of time they have as a player. It’s not a personal slight against the Rangers.

      • pavel_burrito says:

        Also, doesn’t the player’s union get on their case if players accept less then maximum salary. Still don’t understand why there is a union for millionaires.

  11. Ray says:

    As I understand it, Sather said he wants to keep all of his UFAs. Presumably that means he’ll sign everyone including Boyle that he can get for a reasonable price. He will give Boyle a raise, but who knows how far he will go. Judging from what we’ve seen, he tends to be reasonably generous with his first offer and then doesn’t move very much.

  12. Tiki Tim says:

    No. He’s a good role player, but easily replaceable. D. Moore has the same role, penalty killer & faceoff specialist, for much less. Better skater than Boyle. Smaller than Boyle, but it’s not like Boyle utilizes size anyway.

    A championship-aspiring team has to cut costs somewhere, no place better than the 4th line.

  13. paulronty says:

    First let me say I love Brian Boyle, a real team guy but it’s time to say adios because there are several guys on the farm that need to come up, principally Lindberg & Fast. I can see getting another year out of Dom Moore maybe. Even though Pouliot has really improved I see JT and/or Fast taking that spot. JT is ready, no doubt about it & Fast did make the team out of training camp. Speed, speed & more speed, the road to the Cup. We need more scoring and those guys can give it to us. We lose no grit with JT for sure.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      JT is sick. Want him on the team next yr and cant wait to see him play regularly.

      That said, he is more of a top 9 player. He hasn’t shown the same defensive shutdown acumen as Boyle to indicate that he would be a good replacement.

  14. supermaz says:

    Boyle is way overrated by 90% of Rangers fans. Moore much better all around 4th liner. I can never understand the love for such a frustrating player to watch. Go ahead now go crazy with your thumbs down. Bye bye Boyle.