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NHL New York Islanders

Re-Signing Eric Boulton Smart Move by New York Islanders

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot to be happy about with the New York Islanders this season. The end of the year may have come too early after being knocked out in the first round of the NHL playoffs, but the team is already looking ahead to next year. The Islanders re-signed Eric Boulton late last week, and while he isn’t a player that will score you a ton of goals, he is there for one certain reason.

The main job of Boulton is to be an enforcer as he had 36 penalty minutes in just 15 games this season. Boulton also has 1,301 penalty minutes in 615 career games for over two minutes per game. The reason why I love this signing is because a player like Boulton can protect the team’s biggest asset in John Tavares. You don’t want other teams going after the young and very talented goal scorer, and that’s why you have a player like Boulton on the roster. He will make sure that no one messes with Tavares.

I am of the belief that the Islanders can make some serious noise next season in the Eastern Conference. Tavares will be a year older and more experienced, and this Boulton signing ensures he has someone watching his back. I wouldn’t sleep on this Islanders team next season. If they can get another huge year out of Tavares and can add another solid season from Matt Moulson, anything is possible. I think the first step towards that happening was getting Boulton back under contract for another year.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.