Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Leafs And Brian Boyle

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs interested in Brian Boyle as a depth center?

That’s the latest Toronto Maple Leafs rumor, according to Nick Kypreos.

“Nick Kypreos said that the Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs have some interest in Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle. Been reports that the Maple Leafs are looking to add some depth at center.” (MyNHLTradeRumors)

If by some interest Kypreos means a 7th round pick then, yeah, sure, I’ll waste time with Brian Boyle.

Here’s the case with Boyle:

  • Rental player
  • $2M salary
  • Shooting 4.5% over career average, 2.4% over avg with TBL (i.e. outscoring his potential)
  • Above average shot suppression
  • Defensively sound, offensively challenged
  • Drives possession compared to linemates (most common at 5v5 is Valtteri Filppula, who is awful and can barely carry his own hockey gear)
  • Possibly only 6’6″ player ever to lose every single fight he’s been in

Brian Boyle wouldn’t be the worst pick up in the world, that’s for sure. He’s a definite upgrade over anyone the Leafs have had patrolling the fourth line this year. It’s worth noting that Tampa had a scouting rep at the Blues/Leafs game a few nights ago.

The problem I have with picking up Boyle isn’t anything to do with his game, because a fourth line role suits him just fine. My issue is that he’s a rental player who has no future with the Leafs long-term.

There’s no point in wasting assets on a player like Boyle right now. If that player was a guy like Brett Pesce (D) or Nic Dowd (F) – players who can be utilized beyond this season and fit the big picture – then it would be a different story.

The Leafs are a good hockey team. They’re going to make the playoffs. They aren’t going to win the Stanley Cup this year. Just say no to rentals, Lou. Toronto should be focused on getting rental players out the door (Hunwick/Polak), not bringing them in.

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