July 01 2012 03:40PM
The New York Islanders picked up what might prove to be one of the best assets, per dollar, on the free agent market when they signed Brad Boyes to a one-year deal worth $1.0 million.
It really wasn’t all that long ago that Brad Boyes was one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the NHL. Between 2007-09 he scored 76 goals for the St. Louis Blues. However, that was largely based on very strong shooting percentage numbers – a 15.0% clip in 2008-09, when he scored 33 goals, and a 20.8% conversion rate in his 43-goal 2007-08. In the three seasons since, Boyes’ shooting percentage hasn’t cracked double-digits. Even so, he’s general been a pretty good offensive player, managing 42 points in 2009-10 and 55 in 2010-11.
This year, however, he put up easily the worst totals of his career. Some of that was due to injury – after entering the year with a 493-game iron man streak, missed a long chunk of time early in the year with a knee injury. He had already been struggling, and ended the year with just 23 points in 65 games.
Can he rebound? It seems plausible. Boyes has long been a power play triggerman, and this year in Buffalo he was a second-unit option. He told CBC before signing in Long Island that finding a team where he could get power play ice-time was important to him:
In a perfect world, it would be a team that has room for me in the top six [forwards] or if it has depth in the top nine, a time where I'm put in power-play situations and a team that's going to win.
He went on to highlight the importance of playing for a winning club, though the Islanders aren’t exactly the first team that comes to mind when hearing that description.
Even if he doesn’t pick up a lot more points on the power play, however, his even-strength scoring should rebound in a big way. Last year in Buffalo, it was well below his career norms:
Even if Boyes only returns to previous lows, he’s looking at an extra 30% or more even-strength offensive production.
If everything goes wrong and Boyes turns out to be a depth scorer with minimal punch, the Islanders will still only be paying market value. If everything goes right, the Isles could have a 50-60 point guy on their hands for the same money that most players spend on fourth-liners.
This was an excellent signing.
This week by Jonathan Willis
- Darcy Hordichuk re-signs in Edmonton
- Ray Whitney signs with the Dallas Stars: Two years, $9.0 million
- Ryan Smyth re-signs with the Edmonton Oilers
- Free agency: It's a $70 million cap world, now.
- Jay Grossman talks about the Khabibulin contract
- The UFA market for defensemen: it's going to get ugly
- Ralph Krueger: in the driver's seat
- Oilers' development camp invites
- Jets re-sign Ondrej Pavelec, pay top dollar
- Oilers issue qualifying offers to seven
- Report: Oilers interested in Blackhawks' defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson
- The 2012 NHL Entry Draft: Recap
- Should the Oilers have made a pitch for Zbynek Michalek?
- The Oilers select forward Mitch Moroz 32nd overall
- The Jets select Lukas Sutter 39th overall
- The Canucks select Alexandre Mallet 57th overall