2012 NHL Free Agency: Brad Boyes and Kostitsyn Should be Avoided

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...

Brad Boyes

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.

Andrei Kostitsyn

#46 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators



Feb 03, 1985

Andrei "Party Boy" Kostitsyn, 27, has not lived up to his 10th overall pick of 2003 potential. In five "complete" seasons Kostitsyn has hit the 20 goal plateau three times and has eclipsed the 50 point mark just once. Kostitsyn is a powerful player with a fantastic wrist shot and solid instincts in the offensive zone, but many questions have been raised about the Belarusian's two-way game and his decision-making with and without the puck. Of course there is also the issue of Kostitsyn being suspended by the Predators for a game during the 2012 NHL Playoffs for partying with teammate Alexander Radulov. I don't mean to pick on a guy for a single mistake he has made but partying when your team is in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is wildly immature, unprofessional, and stupid.

Kostitsyn did manage 3 goals in 8 games in the 2012 Playoffs and in the 19 games he played with the Predators in the regular season he scored 12 points. Kostitsyn still has the potential to be a top-six forward and is one of the more intriguing UFAs on the market this summer but would he be a fit with the Rangers? I for one don't see Kostitsyn fitting into the Rangers system very well, his tendency to not give 100% every night and to make silly, dangerous passes sounds like something that would explode John Tortorella's brain. Kostitsyn is going to attract plenty of attention for his potential... I just hope that the Rangers don't express too much interest in him (have you seen how many bars there are around the Garden?).

Kostitsyn may warrant more consideration than Boyes because of his relative youth but he doesn't seem like the kind of player that would click with the Rangers and fit into the system as well as some other free agents might. He shouldn't command more than the $3.25 million a year his last contract brought him, but I'm not sure I'd want to pay anywhere near that to have Kostitsyn as a New York Ranger. He's a curious case, one that might be worth looking into, but I just don't see him as a fit for the Rangers and I am not convinced that he would bring much more to the team than a great wrist shot that we'd see sporadically on the powerplay which sounds a lot like Ales Kotalik from a few seasons ago.

What do you guys think? Also, if you had to take one, which one would you take and why?

Also, if you guys need me to point out anything else painfully obvious, just let me know.