Boyle Headed To Free Agency; Pouliot Getting 3-Year, $9M Offers

Any Rangers fan hoping that next year’s roster will resemble last year’s Stanley Cup Finalist squad is going to be sorely disappointed.

Wednesday night, we heard that talks with Anton Stralman are not going well, now Pat Leonard at the Daily News is reporting that Brian Boyle plans on heading to free agency.

Leonard says that Boyle’s agent wouldn’t comment on the status of contract talks with the Rangers, just that his client will be testing the market come July 1st.

On break-up day, Boyle expressed his desire to have a bigger role on the Rangers next season (via Bergen Record)…

“I think everyone knows how I feel about New York and the New York Rangers and what that means to me and has meant to me and what [GM] Glen [Sather] has done for me,” Boyle said. “But I want to make an impact going forward. You want to have more responsibility sometimes.

“We spoke, [Alin Vigneault] was very honest. I think it’s something in the playoffs and on a team that’s going to win in May and June, it’s an important role. But everyone obviously wants to score more goals.”

To which Alain Vigneault responded…

“If [Boyle’s] satisfied with [his] role, I would definitely want him back. At the end of the day, players have to decide if they’re satisfied with what they’re being given.”

…every winning team has players such as Boyle, who aren’t afraid to do the dirty work. You can’t win in the NHL without a strong penalty kill and the ability to win key defensive zone faceoffs, which Boyle was very adept at doing. I think of all the Rangers UFAs, his loss would be felt the most and make the need to re-sign Dominic Moore all the more urgent.

…having said that, Boyle is nothing more than a fourth line player. I know he wants more responsibility next season, but having him on the third line makes the Rangers worse. Boyle needs to know his role. He becomes a less effective player once he gets away from what he does best. If he can get more money on the open market, more power to him, but I refuse to believe he’ll have as positive of an impact on another organization with an increased role.

Meanwhile, it’s looking less and less likely Beniot Pouliot will be back either as he’s expected to receive multiple offers for at least $9 million over three years.

…i said yesterday I liked Pouliot at 2-3 years, $2.5M per, but a $3M per multi-year offer is way too rich for me and likely the Rangers.

…unfortunately, this is what happens when you go to the Stanley Cup Final. Every team who fell short is looking to get a piece of your pie. If the Rangers end up losing the three players mentioned in this post, Sather is going to have a lot of work to do this offseason to replace three key players from their Stanley Cup run.


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