Brian Boyle was a healthy scratch against the Islanders thursday, and it’s very possible he doesn’t make the lineup against Tampa Bay tomorrow night.
I don’t want to immediately trade Brian Boyle, but I think from now until this coming offseason it needs to be discussed.
JT Miller has been a revelation for the Rangers. He’s been doing everything Brian Boyle hasn’t, and he’s potted a couple goals in his short NHL career. Whether he maintains his current form is up to him. If Miller does continue to play this way and it isn’t a fluke, I think the Rangers should explore trading him. Brian Boyle being traded though is completely contingent on Miller’s run of play. If Miller keeps it up, this is a good problem to have.
Boyle alone probably couldn’t garner much in the trade market. Paul Gaustad at the trade deadline got a 1st round pick, and depending on the market Boyle could probably get a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
That’s why I’d suggest trading Brian Boyle with Michael Del Zotto. The both of them together could probably net a good young right handed top 4 defenseman. For instance, Zach Bogosian. The Rangers can cut out some salary in the process as well.
Armchair GM playing aside, I do believe Boyle is traded this coming offseason. Even if JT Miller is sent back down this season I do believe he’ll be on the team full time next season. Add in that Oscar Lindberg may be ready to at some point next season as well, and you suddenly have a log jam at center.
Boyle has a $1.7 million cap hit and the Rangers will need to maybe shed all of that cap hit to re-sign Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, and Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers probably could re-sign all of those guys without trading Boyle, but I don’t think the team wants to be that close to the cap ceiling.
That’s just my two cents. I love what Boyle has brought in his time with the Rangers, but I think the time has come where the kids in the pipeline will be able to do what he does better, and at a cheaper cost.
Be sure to follow me on twitter @Bluelinestation.