Reports have seen that veteran blueliner Dan Boyle will be finishing out his contract as a New York Ranger next season. The thirty-eight year old defenseman signed a two year deal with a no-trade clause as a free agent last summer and currently has one more year left with a cap hit of $4.5 million.
Boyle was brought in to help the power play, add depth to the defenseman and also bring on yet another older veteran player to help mentor and guide the young guns of the Rangers. Boyle certainly did struggle this season, especially starting out with a broken hand suffered right at the beginning of the campaign. He did manage to tally nine goals and twenty points in sixty-five regular season games.
The power play did not improve with Boyle’s presence, but when the extra man units were firing on all cylinders, Boyle was the man usually leading the charge. He managed to score three power play goals as well.
Dan Boyle’s age has definitely shown during the 2014-2015 season, but he still believes that he has life in his game and that this team can win it all next year. There were many times during the regular season where Boyle showed that he can still raise his game to another level, despite speed being an issue. Of course, as a player gets older and the game gets faster, they will struggle to keep up, but professionals learn how to adapt.
Others say that Boyle was brought in to provide assistance in the playoffs rather than on the power play. This postseason, in nineteen games, Boyle mustered three goals and ten assists while having a +/- of -3. While he was just okay in the series against Pittsburgh, he almost seemed to be a liability on the ice against the Washington Capitals. It looked as if the speed of the Capitals was too much for Boyle and that he would cause unforced turnovers for second guessing his game.
However, whatever issues that were causing him to play at such a mediocre level was nonexistent in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He definitely raised his game and played at a high level against his former Stanley Cup winning team. Despite being knocked out in seven games, Boyle was one of the most noticeable players on the ice for the Rangers during that series. He was also second among defenseman in points for the playoffs with ten.
As of now, it looks like father time will have to wait for Dan Boyle. It seems that he will be playing out the rest of his contract in New York and maybe even hang up the skates when all is said and done. A healthy Dan Boyle, despite turning thirty-nine this offseason, can be a dangerous one. Lets hope the offensive minded defenseman still has enough poise with the puck to help the Rangers go deep one last time before he retires.