Originally written on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 12/20/14
If Glen Sather has proven anything this season it’s that he’s never in a hurry to get his free agents signed to an extension. And now it looks like we can add Brian Boyle to the list (via New York Post)… “I’m also using my contract situation as motivation,” Boyle explained. “I tried to see what was up [regarding an extension], and they wanted to push it back, so being a free agent at the end of the season, I want to play well. “It’s a huge incentive from a personal standpoint. There’s a lot on the line.” Boyle, who has 5g, 10a this season, is in the final year of a three-year, $5.1 million deal. …i’ve been one of Boyle’s biggest defenders on the blog, and his performance last night was the exact reason why I believe he’s so important to the Rangers. While the rest of the team was sleep walking through the first period, the fourth line, led by Boyle, was skating hard, while putting constant pressure on the Coyotes defenders. Oh yeah, he also had two blocked shots, four hits and won 80% of his faceoffs. It’s the little things that win championships and that’s what Boyle does best. …i know the label on Boyle is that he’s softer than Charmin, but the last time I checked he leads all Rangers forwards in hits with 137 and is only behind D. Moore in blocked shots by a Blueshirts forward. Once you guys finally realize he’ll never play an imposing physical game and look at the positives he brings to the table including anchoring one of the best penalty killing units in the NHL and mentoring the young players, you’ll see why the Rangers can’t afford to let him walk. …i’ve always felt that Boyle’s 21 goal season back in 2010-11 was the worst thing to happen to him as it set unrealistic expectations for Rangers fans. That season was an anomaly and should not be used as a the measuring stick for Boyle. Bottom line is that Boyle is a fourth liner, who can win you a big faceoff and will work his ass off on the penalty kill. Those are qualities every successful NHL team needs and is why he’s so integral to the organization. We’ve complained the last two years about losing all the character guys from the 2011-12 team, well this would be another. …now having said that, if he wants to remain a Ranger, he’ll have to take a salary cut down to $1 million per which is what D. Moore is currently making. Even with the Richards buyout, the Rangers are going to have limited cap space to get all their free agents (Brassard, Kreider, Pouliot, Zuccarello, D. Moore, J. Moore & Stralman) re-signed this summer as well as hopefully bringing in a true #1 center. Boyle giraffe PhotoShop courtesy of reader AnnoyingJoe.
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