Found July 02, 2013 on Sports Blog Net:
[caption id="attachment_69" align="alignleft" width="263"] image provided by bostonherald.com[/caption] Games:48 Goals: 10 Assists: 25 Points: 35 PIM: 16 On the first day of free agency last July, General Manager Garth Snow signed Brad Boyes to a one year, one million dollar deal. The Isles were looking for someone to replace P.A. Parenteau on the top line, and Boyes was looking to revive his career after only scoring eight goals and 23 points in 2011-2012 with the Buffalo Sabres. Boyes seemed like the perfect player for Snow to sign. Snow gave Boyes the chance to revive his career and play a top six forward role while holding a spot on the roster while the kids developed in the minors. Boyes did not start the season on the top line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Kyle Okposo was given the first chance to round out the top line, so Boyes ended up starting the season on the second line instead with Frans Neilsen and Michael Grabner. Boyes got off to a solid start with Grabner and Neilsen, as Boyes posted two goals and six points in the Isles first seven games of the season in January. Okposo's game did not mesh well with Tavares' and Moulson's, so Boyes and Okposo switched lines, and Boyes moved on the top line with Tavares and Moulson early in February. Boyes continued to play well offensively with Tavares and Moulson, as he posted two goals and nine points in 14 games played in February. Boyes (and the entire top line for that matter) struggled defensively though, as Boyes was a minus 11 in those 14 games played. Boyes spent the rest of the regular season on the top line with Tavares and Moulson. Boyes consistently put up points in March and April like he did in January and February. In March, Boyes posted four goals and 12 points in 14 games, and posted two goals and eight points in 13 games in April. Boyes and his line mates improved their game defensively in March and April too as Boyes had a positive rating in both months. Boyes had a solid offensive season during the regular season, but he disappeared in the playoffs. In the six game series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boyes posted zero goals and three points to go along with a minus three rating. Boyes was so bad in game one (most of the team was for that matter), that the coaching staff threatened to scratch Boyes if he did not pick up his game drastically for game two. Boyes played better at times over the next five games, but was a non-factor in the playoffs for the most part. Could Boyes be back next year? With Boyes looking for a multi-year deal and a significant raise from the one million he made last year off his solid offensive season, I would say it is unlikely Boyes returns next year. The Isles were not thrilled with Boyes' defensive play, and the disappearing act in the playoffs probably has Snow thinking Boyes is not worth a long-term extension. Boyes could be a fallback option for the Isles if Snow can not land Danny Briere, Nathan Horton, or Stephen Weiss in free agency, or if Snow can not make a trade for a top line winger. It would also depend on if Boyes gets a solid offer from another team. If no one offers him a longterm deal, maybe Boyes comes back to the Isles on another one year contract. If the Isles can not find a significant upgrade, I would not be upset with Boyes coming back on a one year deal. He put up solid offensive numbers that pro-rated over a full season comes out to a 60-65 point season, and that is a solid point total for a top line player. For the Isles to go deeper in the playoffs though, they need an upgrade from Boyes to round out the top line. I expect Snow to be very active this offseason, so I do not expect Boyes to be back next year. What do you guys think about Boyes? Is he back, or do the Isles find an upgrade? follow me on twitter: @ed_omalley
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