NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It appears the Devils are in selling mode.
Brian Boyle, who beat cancer and served as an inspiration as well as a solid bottom six forward during his season-plus in New Jersey, was traded on Thursday to the Stanley Cup-hopeful Nashville Predators for a second-round pick in this year’s draft.
The 34-year-old forward is in the final season of a two-year, $5.1 million contract he signed with the Devils on July 1, 2017. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
It’s a move that likely signifies the last-place Devils’ desire to shift their focus to next season.
“We want to thank Brian for his time here, as he was a big part in helping establish the culture we now have in place,” Devils general manager Ray Shero said. “His leadership, dedication and determination served as an inspiration to the entire organization, on and off the ice. We wish him, his wife, Lauren, son, Declan, and daughter, Isabella, the best of luck in Nashville.”
Boyle, who is in his 12th NHL season, has 19 points, including 13 goals, in 47 games this season. He has 119 goals and 92 assists in 740 career games with the Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder is also a proven postseason player, amassing 28 points in 111 playoff games. He appeared in the Stanley Cup Final with the Rangers in 2014 and the Lightning in 2015.
Last season, Boyle won the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player that shows perseverance and dedication to hockey. He missed the first 10 games after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, but returned on Nov. 1 and went on to post 23 points, including 13 goals, to help the Devils earn a playoff berth for the first time since advancing to the Final 2012.
Boyle should fit in well with the Predators, who are likely heading to their fifth straight postseason appearance. Nashville was knocked out in the second round last season after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the Cup Final the season before.