NHL Free Agency 2012: Islanders Make Good Decision with Brad Boyes Signing

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst IJuly 1, 2012

Brad Boyes looks for a chance to score in front of Canadiens net
Brad Boyes looks for a chance to score in front of Canadiens netRick Stewart/Getty Images

The New York Islanders have made a decent splash in the free-agency pool on the first day, a rarity for them.

The Isles have signed forward Brad Boyes. According to a tweet by Arthur Staple, Boyes was signed to a one year, $1 million deal.

This was a nice signing by the Islanders. It's a gamble for sure, but it could pay off dividends. Boyes was once a 43-goal scorer with the St. Louis Blues back in 2007-08 and scored a career high 72 points (33 goals, 39 assists) the next season.

He has tailed off however over the past few seasons. He scored only eight goals in 65 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season. There is solace in that however. He was playing fourth line minutes on a team with mediocre offensive talent.

Eight goals isn't too shabby for a fourth line-esque player. Especially if the Isles give him a chance to play good minutes with talented players like Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Strome, or maybe even Kyle Okposo. It depends on how Jack Capuano wants to make the lineup.

The contract conditions are low-risk, which is great. If Boyes struggles, it's only one year and he's not making top dollar. But Boyes is 30 years old and is in his prime. If he can re-discover his old self, he could be a steal for the Isles and could re-sign.

If the Islanders don't re-sign P.A. Parenteau, which is looking more likely every minute, Boyes can perhaps play right wing with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. He'd fill in the RW void on the top line. And playing with the two above-listed stars could help Boyes return to his 30 goal scoring self.

It will be an interesting season for Brad Boyes, and hopefully a good one.