32-Year-Old Center – Tampa Bay Lightning
Brian Boyle Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $6 million contract with the Lightning in July 2014.
Boyle (lower body) is set to make his return to the lineup Thursday at home against the Sabres, Bryan Burns of Lightning's official site reports.
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Brian Boyle: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Boyle might just be one of the most effective fourth-liners in the NHL. He can chew up minutes and the opposition, too, but he won't deliver you much in traditional fantasy formats - not even in penalty minutes despite his size. He does, however, win a lot of faceoffs, lay a lot of hits, and kill a lot of penalties. Expect about 20 points, 60 PIMs and 160 hits; leave him on the waiver wire unless he goes on a streak.
Boyle was listed as a healthy scratch for numerous games last season by former head coach John Tortorella. Between the hiring of new head coach Alain Vigneault and the signing of experienced center Dominic Moore, Boyle will reportedly see more ice time as a winger. It is believed that the 6-7 forward could bounce back from a silent (five points in 38 games) campaign last season in the wing slot. Depending on the depth and format of your league, Boyle may not get drafted. Look for early signs of life, if he gets playing time he could have value in Vigneault's offense, so keep him on your watch list.
While he's not the team's flashiest players, Boyle has made a name for himself on this Rangers' squad after playing all 82 games the past two seasons. The gritty 27-year-old will likely center the Blueshirts' fourth line and look to return to the 20-goal plateau that he reached in 2010-2011. His totals of 11 goals and 15 assists last season won't help owners in anything but the deepest of leagues, but the former first-round pick has the potential to provide some value if he can manage to improve upon his 15 minutes of ice time per-game from last season.
Boyle worked on his skating ahead of last season and it paid huge dividends for the Blueshirts and fantasy owners alike. His six-point campaign back in 2009-10 left so much to be desired, yet the 26-year-old busted out with 21 goals and 14 assists this past year. Another positive was that Boyle played the whole 82-game schedule in a season where the Rangers were largely decimated by injuries. At 6-foot-7, Boyle is a monster on the ice, but he still has room to expand his game, particularly on the power play where, in 2010-11, he averaged just 0:48 of ice time. Knowing that he has to prove the past campaign was no fluke, Boyle will be a solid selection in deep fantasy leagues.
At 6-foot-7, 244 pounds, the Rangers have a huge player in Boyle. Unfortunately, in the NHL, he's been unable to transfer his scoring touch from successful campaigns with Boston College and the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. Even worse, the hefty center battled ankle problems late last season. Avoid him in 2010-11.
Boyle played just 28 games for the Kings last year, but spent the rest of the season in the AHL. He'll likely be in the minors for most of the season for the Rangers, though he could see some sporadic fourth-line work.
Boyle netted 31 goals in the AHL last season and got a short callup with the Kings, scoring four goals in just eight games. It's hard to envision him cracking the Kings' top six forwards so the team may decide to send him back to the AHL to log 20 minutes a game instead of logging third or fourth line minutes for the Kings. He's got some offensive upside if he can land himself a prominent role on the Kings.
Boyle is listed as a center, but the Kings are toying with the idea of moving him to defense where the team is not as stacked. Coming out of Boston College last season, he skated during Manchester’s playoff run.
With his excellent size, 6'7" 222 lbs., Boyle may get a look at camp, but another year so he can bulk up wouldn't be surprising. He either play in college or with the Manchester Monarchs for most of the season.
He is no where near the Kings radar right now because he needs a few more years to develop. Look for him around the 2007-08 season.