With the New York Rangers‘ unrestricted free agent defenseman Anton Stralman likely to leave the team via free agency starting on July 1, rumors have surfaced on who the Rangers would like to have has Stralman’s replacement: 38-year-old defenseman, and ex-teammate of Martin St. Louis, Dan Boyle.
Despite his age, Boyle is a right-handed defenseman who is considered to be a power play quarterback and specialist, which the Rangers really need. Last season, after starting off great with the man advantage , the Rangers dipped during the second half of the season and struggled immensely in the later rounds of the postseason.
Not only did the Rangers’ power play end the year on a sour note, but with the compliance buyout of Brad Richards this offseason, their previous power play quarterback, you would figure the Rangers would have even more incentive to sign Boyle to a contract. Despite all of this, however, Boyle is not a must-sign.
For one, Boyle is 38 and is looking for a two-year deal worth around $5 million per year. Stralman is currently asking the Rangers for around $5 million per year as well, but for over a longer period of time, such as 4-5 years. Stralman is nowhere close to the offensive weapon Boyle is, but still $5 million per season for either of them is just too much money, especially when you figure in that this year’s salary cap is $69 million instead of $71.
Since the cap is lower than expected and the Rangers still needed to re-sign a lot of their own players, there is no need to get into a bidding war and throw money at Boyle. With young defenseman like Conor Allen and Mat Bodie on the verge of possibly cracking the Rangers’ starting roster this upcoming season, and with Ryan McDonagh honing his offensive skills, there is no reason why the team can’t find an in-house replacement.
Boyle would be a nice addition to the Rangers, especially on the power play, but there is no need to overpay him at this stage of his career.
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