After Patrick Marleau ended up signing with the San Jose Sharks after an offseason of uncertainty, heads are now turning to other still unsigned veteran forwards as potential options. Bob McKenzie of TSN reported last night on Insider Trading that Brian Boyle is drawing interest from several teams, and could be signed soon. McKenzie points out that the interested clubs may need to clear roster spots or cap space in order to fit Boyle in.
The 34-year old Boyle actually scored 18 goals last season and has been an extremely versatile player over the years. Able to play both center and left wing, he could give a boost to a club dealing with injuries or one needing a little punch of playoff experience in the lineup. Boyle has played in 114 playoff games over his career, getting to the postseason in each of the last nine years.
- While there has been no indication that the Pittsburgh Penguins would be a club interested in Boyle, they certainly fit into the category of a team needing some more depth at forward. Not only are Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust out long-term, but today both Alex Galchenyuk and Patric Hornqvist missed practice with injuries and are listed as day-to-day. The Penguins lost to the Winnipeg Jets last night and are already six points behind the 4-0 Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. Though there is obviously tons of hockey left to be played, Pittsburgh may not be able to afford such a slow start in a division that should be much more competitive than last year.
- Tim Stuetzle is a name you’ll be hearing plenty over the next several months according to Gord Miller of TSN, who points out the 17-year old forward already has eight points in nine games playing in Germany’s top league this season. Miller suggests he could be a top-10 pick in the 2020 draft, and there’s little doubt that he will be in that conversation next spring. The young forward has effortless speed and offensive skill, but as with so many players around the world there will be questions about his size and ability to hold up in the North American game. One thing to note about Stuetzle’s future is that he was selected 19th overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, a team he could potentially end up with if whichever NHL team drafts him wants him over right away.