At this stage of free agency, there isn’t a lot left, especially when it comes to UFA centers. In terms of proven options that aren’t at camp somewhere, the list basically starts and ends with veteran Brian Boyle. But don’t mistake the fact that he’s unsigned as a suggestion that no one has any interest in him. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that multiple teams, including the Rangers, have reached out to the veteran but for now, the intention for those squads to see what they have first in training camp and will circle back if they feel they need more depth down the middle.
The 36-year-old spent last season with Florida, picking up six goals and nine assists in 36 games and has been consistent in his points-per-game output over the past four seasons, ranging from 0.33 the previous three seasons to 0.38 last year. Of course, Boyle is more known for his play in his own end as a capable defensive pivot who can kill penalties, play with some physicality, and win some key faceoffs; he has been below the 50% mark just once since the 2011-12 campaign.
Considering the fact Boyle is still without a contract, it shouldn’t cost much more than the league minimum to get him signed at this point and while he is more of a fourth-line option now after being able to log a bigger workload earlier in his career. But in a season where depth is going to be crucial, it wouldn’t be surprising for at least one of the teams – be it New York or someone else – to decide to bring Boyle into the fold.