NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The rebuilding Devils just got themselves a high-character guy who should help them both on the ice and in the locker room.
According to various reports, the Devils and veteran center Brian Boyle reached an agreement on a two-year, $5.1 million contract as free agency opened on Saturday.
Boyle should fit in well on either the third or fourth line. The 32-year-old plays a rugged style, is good on faceoffs, and uses his 6-foot-6, 244-pound frame to his advantage, all attributes that have served him well throughout his 10-year career.
He started last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but was acquired prior to the trade deadline by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Overall, he finished with 12 goals and 25 points in 75 games, and added two assists in six playoffs games.
Boyle played a key role in the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, registering eight points in 25 postseason games. He then signed with the Lightning and helped them get to the Cup Final the very next spring.
The Devils, who went 28-40-14 in 2016-17 and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season, will need Boyle’s leadership as they try to infuse younger players into an offense that features centers Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique, and wingers Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri.
On Friday, the Devils announced they would be buying out the contracts of veteran forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly.
New Jersey used the No. 1 pick in last week’s draft to select 18-year-old Swiss center Nico Hischier, though there are no guarantees he will start next season in the NHL.