Boyes Will Be Boyes (Replacing PA at a discounted price)
Isles fans have a way of forcing themselves to see the positives in most murky situations. They could hold a polluted, cloudy glass of water to the light and say “...at least its water!” The fan base is thirsty and have been parched for entirely too long. Saving the ‘stranded on an island’ metaphors, most fans that attend and/or watch each Islanders’ campaign needs something to bring them back after being consistently let down. (Photo Credit: Flickr/slidingsideways)
For the older generation of fans, the original cast that were around since the dynasty days, the reasoning is simple. They seemed to have accepted their apparent, under the table deal with the hockey demons as an exchange for those years as hockey’s prestige.
For the fans that weren’t around for those glory days, they hold on to moments or streaks of greatness. They hold the 1992-93 Islanders dear to their heart spending their days cursing Dale Hunter’s existence and asking hypotheticals about Pierre Turgeon’s unforeseen injury. They remember a good 1993-94 team that got dismantled by the Cup bound Rangers in a 4 game sweep but took the loss thinking they’d be right back eventually. How could they not?
Except they weren’t. That’s where I became cognizant of the Islanders. I vaguely remember watching the New York Rangers raise the cup as a young boy in 1994.
My first true memories of the Islanders started during the time where management and the team alike were just one giant folly. If the ups and downs since that 1995-1996 season were ever charted and organized, it would be eye opening. From “Fishsticks” to benching Yashin to 15 years of Rick DiPietro, this team has tested the patience and fortitude of the true Isles fans.
All this fan base knows how to do is endure.
This brings me to the topic at hand. Brad Boyes was signed by the New York Islanders during the frenzy of July 1st. He was part of the trio of new Islanders that will join the team for the 2012-13 campaign. They aren't exactly the Miami Heat's big three but I believe Boyes is one of the keys to the success of this team. His career will find a renaissance of sorts on Long Island playing side by side with number 91. (Photo Credit: Flickr/sabre11richard)
Brad Boyes joined the NHL fraternity full time in 2003-2004. It was during that year he played all 82 games. He has fastened a reputation of playing through injury and finding a way to stay on the ice. 2011-12 was the first year he didn’t play over 80 games in a season. This type of consistency will be a breath of fresh air a team usually littered with players going down to injuries of all kinds.
In essence, his play will be compared to now Colorado Avalanche left winger PA Parenteau all year. For similar production between both Boyes and Parenteau, the Islanders are paying a fraction than we would have had to in order to keep PA.
Is it ideal that the Islanders had to let PA walk after gelling nicely with John Tavares? No, but topping a 4 year, 16 million contract for a player whose production can be duplicated easily is crazy.
Why am I so confident that Brad Boyes can return to form and duplicate, and possibly top what Parenteau did for the Islanders? Age is not a factor here. PA is only a year younger than Boyes. Brad Boyes has a lot to prove.
He has been cast out, deemed finished by NHL executives. This fall from grace should provide proper aim for Boyes to target and this motivation can drive him back to the production he was used to providing for his NHL teams. This 'chip on his shoulder' so to speak, paired with obvious talent and receiving first line ice time should prove fruitful for Boyes
Brad Boyes' best season would without a doubt be the 2007-08 run where he netted 43 goals and added 22 assists. That is the Brad Boyes that the Maple Leafs saw when studying tapes before the 2000 Entry Level Draft. He moved around, as an unknown quantity until finding home St. Louis. This is where he started to thrive for a two year span showing glimpses of brilliance and exciting the Blues' front office as well as fans. He seemed to be a lone bright spot on an otherwise, mediocre St. Louis Blues team. (Photo Credit: flickr/Les_Stockton)
Boyes was by far the leading scorer that year but he learned with wily veterans, Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya along with a great young player Andy McDonald. But he did all of this when he was surrounded with a team that had obviously less talent that the 2012-13 Islanders do.
The Islanders' young talent with superstar potential trumps the line up the Blues touted on a nightly basis that year. Pairing with Matt Moulson and John Tavares, he has the capability of not only benefitting from the players around him but making them better.
Some see Brad Boyes as a player whose production has taken a nosedive. This is true and cannot be denied statistically. He was an obvious disappointment for the Buffalo Sabres last year. But after clearing the rubble from the scrap heap he was laying in, it becomes clear what he actually is. A low risk, high reward player that could pay huge dividends for the Islanders this season.
While GMs will sit back in the winter with buyer’s regret for oversized contracts that were given out to forwards, Garth Snow and company should and will feel comfortable with the Brad Boyes addition. (Photo Credit: Flickr/ Tim Shahan)
While teams like the Avalanche took a huge financial risk in sparking their offense by obviously overpaying Parenteau, Snow found some loose change in the couch to pay for Boyes in comparison. No one is saying that Garth is reinventing the game like Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” but he is being fiscally responsible which comes as a relief.It would not surprise me to be sitting here after Boyes' completes two stellar seasons with the team and waving him goodbye as he is overpaid by another NHL team. This whole situation is so similar to the Parenteau signing originally.
The Isles were questioned with what they were going to do with a guy who only played 22 games for the rival Rangers scoring only 3 goals. Garth Snow showed them what happens when players are given a second chance at resurrecting their career.
This is not even a bold prediction but by the time October rolls around and his numbers are spiked due to ice time with John Tavares and Matt Moulson, fans will ask “Parenteau who”?