As was once famously said within the confines of the Prudential Center: New Jersey Devils fans, we have a trade to announce. I think you’re going to like it:
The deal is Brian Boyle to NSH. NJ gets NSH 2019 2nd round pick in return. Done deal.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 6, 2019
Brian Boyle quickly became a fan favorite in New Jersey after his battle and subsequent recovery through cancer and is almost a folk hero in terms of productivity on Hockey Fights Cancer nights across the league. He is a veteran locker room presence, vouched by every teammate he has come across and for a contending team, he is valued as someone who will keep the room together and help to keep the team focused during a deep playoff run. Boyle is a two-time Stanley Cup Finalist that was also key in bringing a winning mentality to last year’s young Devils squad and while this year has not gone as hoped, he has had one of his best seasons to date up to this point. With 13 goals and six assists in 47 games as a fourth-liner on a lower-tier team, Boyle proved he was not slowed by cancer. Overall, Boyle collected 46 points in 112 games with New Jersey, his best points-per-game mark with any team throughout his career. As such, Nashville took interest and took the leap to bolster their bottom six.
What does this mean for the Devils? Well, a second round pick is an amazing return and a great job done by Ray Shero to maximize Boyle as an asset. This is a fourth-line center on a bad team on an expiring contract and somehow, the leadership aspects and Boyle’s individual success brought his value up to a second round pick. This makes the market for other sellers very intriguing as Boyle’s value will inevitably be used as a basis of comparison for other depth moves. Craig Custance also pointed out the following:
Price paid consistent with what Toronto sent to TB for Boyle in 2017. https://t.co/vOD2XaFNlD— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 6, 2019
Basically, Boyle has been valued similarly before but the teams in question were in very different positions at the time. Almost everything that could go wrong has done so this season for New Jersey and this deal is the start of salvaging some value in a lost year.
What do you think of this deal? What’s your favorite memory of Brian Boyle as a Devil? Let us know in the comments.