Official press release on the Boyle signing below.
After signing Brad Richards, Glen Sather said he fully expected to sign all of his RFA's over the next few weeks. So far he has taken care of three of the five, including getting Artmen Anisimov under contract, who was open to receiving an offer sheet.
I had earlier speculated that Boyle might be one of the five to head to arbitration, since he had only scored twelve goals in his NHL career heading into last season. But Sather and Boyle found some common ground and agreed to a relatively fair contract. You had to expect Boyle to get a massive raise for his production last year, and you also could have expected the security of a longer deal because of it as well.
The contract is a little bit of a risk. If Boyle reverts back to his 2009-2010 form (four goals and two assists in 71 games) then three years at $1.7 million is a pretty big anchor. It should also be noted that of Boyle's 21 goals and 14 assists, just one goal and two assists came in the final 18 games of the regular season.
However, if the former 26th-overall draft pick continues to be a 20-goal scorer for the remainder of the pact, the contract is a steal. You take a 20-goal scorer who also brings size and toughness to the table at $1.7 million without blinking an eye, and now it's up to Boyle to continue to improve.
Join me after the jump for more.
Now that Sather has taken care of the rest he can focus on the big-two, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. With Dubinsky's arbitration hearing looming on July 21st (Callahan's isn't until July 28th) Sather is obviously making it a priority to get him under contract as soon as he can.
After the holdout two years ago Rangers fans seemed to be most tense about Dubinsky's contract negotiations. Currently, we haven't heard much about the inner-workings of the negotiations, but you would have to think that Sather and Dubinsky's agent are talking daily at this point.
Remember there can't be a holdout like there was two year's ago, since even if the two sides can't cross the chasm it will be done for them by an arbitration judge. Obviously Dubinsky is looking for a longer deal around $4 million dollars. In Sather's case, he would love to buy out a few of Dubinsky's UFA years as well.
The Rangers are still confident that they can get Dubinsky under contract before his hearing. That would be ideal for both sides, especially since the Rangers don't want to have to go through an arbitration hearing with Dubinsky after what happened two years ago.
But that also doesn't mean that Sather should do everything in his power to avoid arbitration, including dishing out far more money than he intends to. Although that Rangers have around $11 million dollars in cap space to sign both Callahan and Dubinsky, don't forget that if Tim Erixon makes the team (and by all indications he will have a very good shot at it) you need to add $1.75 million to it as well. Plus, Sather wants some wiggle room to work with for the remainder of the season.
The good news? This will end on July 21st no matter what happens. But obviously the Rangers want to avoid arbitration at all costs.
Anyway, it should get interesting from this point forward guys. Thoughts?
Brian Boyle official press release:
RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH
FORWARD BRIAN BOYLE
New York, July 15, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Brian Boyle on a new contract.
Boyle, 26, skated in 82 games with the Rangers last season, registering 21 goals and 14 assists for 35 points, along with 74 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in goals, assists, points, power play goals (four), power play points (four), and shots on goal (218). He also established a career-high in games played, as one of only four Rangers to have skated in all 82 games. Boyle led the Blueshirts in shots on goal, tied for fourth in goals and ranked first on the team and 11th in the NHL with 240 hits. In addition, he led the Rangers and tied for second in the NHL with a career-high, three shorthanded assists, and tied for second on the team and 11th in the league with a career-high, four shorthanded points. Boyle reached the 30-point and 20-goal plateaus for the first time in his career with a two-point performance (one goal, one assist) in a 6-0 win at Washington on February 25. Boyle made his playoff debut on April 13 at Washington, and led the Rangers with 25 shots in five playoff contests.
The 6-7, 244-pounder has skated in 189 career games with the Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, registering 33 goals and 18 assists for 51 points, along with 167 penalty minutes. Boyle made his Rangers debut on October 2, 2009 at Pittsburgh, and tallied his first point as a Blueshirt with the game-winning goal on October 14, 2009 vs. Los Angeles. He skated in his 100th career NHL game on March 7, 2010 vs. Buffalo. In 2007-08, Boyle notched two points (one goal, one assist) in his NHL debut on February 2 at New Jersey, and recorded four goals and five points in eight games with the Kings that season.
The Hingham, Massachusetts native was acquired by the Rangers from the Kings in exchange for a third round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (Jordan Weal) on July 27, 2009. He was originally selected as Los Angeles’ first round choice, 26th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.