These two UFAs are "under the radar" for a reason. They aren't being discussed and fantasized over because they are what is going to be left in the dirt after all the rest of the pinata candy has been greedily snatched up.They're that Halloween candy that no kid really wants, even if it has been left out in a bowl to be savaged by the sugar-crazed children of the night.
Still, players like this deserve to be discussed because we should examine why they aren't as attractive as some other players that so many of us are convinced are "can't miss players" or "steals". Players like Brad Boyes and Andrei Kostitsyn are going to get calls and offers from several teams in the offseason because of what their potential to add scoring depth to teams that desperately need it.
Join me after the jump for two dirty pieces of candy corn in this offseason's free agent market...
Boyes, 30, is a ghost of the player that once scored 86 goals over two seasons for the St. Louis Blues. The Sabres made a deal for Boyes two seasons ago and Boyes brought them 13 goals in 86 games. Boyes is a snake-bitten goal-scorer that may never return to being a guy that can bury 30 in a year. Boyes has great instincts in the offensive zone and could be useful on the powerplay but he has been criticized as being “soft” and easy to knock off of the puck. Whatever team pursues him in the offseason should get him at a serious discount from his cap hit last season ($4 mill) but they’d be foolish to expect more than 10 or 15 goals from a player that looks like he has lost whatever scoring touch he once had.
Could Boyes maybe find his game as a New York Ranger? I think it is possible, but any serious investment in a player like Boyes is something I would like to avoid at all costs. Boyes could very well find his scoring touch again, but I’m not sure the Rangers are the kind of team that wants to wait around for an inconsistent player to find his touch again. The Rangers should be happy to let someone else roll the dice on Brad Boyes finding his game, especially if he demands over $2.5 million on the cap, which he almost certainly will.
Unless Boyes comes with a time machine that brings us back to 2008-2009 at the latest, he is the kind of free agent the Rangers should avoid unless they are desperate late in the offseason and he can be had on a cap-friendly, short-term deal. Heck, maybe playing with Richards would spark his game, but I have the suspicion that it probably wouldn’t.