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Brian Boyle is a good player, an excellent penalty killer and a big body.
Despite that, he may be on the outside looking in.
The Rangers are stacked at center, and a number of players, including Boyle, are probably going to have to move to the wing.
Here are the centers on the roster:
- Derek Stepan
- Brad Richards
- Derick Brassard
- Dominic Moore
- Brian Boyle
- J.T. Miller
Miller and Boyle, at least to start, are going to have to move to the wing. Boyle is better suited to play center, because it allows him to use his big body and long stick to break up plays in the defensive zone. He also excels in the faceoff circle.
That said, J.T. Miller has a brighter long-term future in the organization and Boyle has struggled offensively in the last few years. After scoring 21 goals in the 2010-11 season, Boyle only scored 11 goals in 2011-12 and just two last season.
The Rangers may not have room for Boyle. Dominic Moore is a better all-around player, while also doing the same things on the ice that Boyle does, and the Rangers would rather give consistent playing time to Miller.
The Rangers could probably get a mid-round pick for Boyle, or even a decent prospect.
Boyle has a role to play in the NHL. It just may not be with the Rangers.