The Importance of Nick Boynton

Ethan WatermanContributor IAugust 12, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 09: Nick Boynton #24 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Some may see Nick Boynton as just a depth player now that he will be signed with the Blackhawks for another season. That’s being one-dimensional. Now being the oldest defenseman on the Blackhawks, Boynton now is a locker room leader.
    Boynton has played in parts 11 seasons, beginning his NHL playing days in 1999. He’s always been a good defensive defenseman who defends his teammates. He’s had 39 fighting majors in his career, and in 8 full seasons in the NHL, he’s had a positive plus/minus rating 5 times. A former All-Star, Boynton knows how to play the game.
    Also, Boynton will be playing on the third defensive pairing, he will be able to easily mentor Jordan Hendry, Shawn Lalonde, Nick Leddy, Ivan Vishnevskiy, and John Scott. His knowledge and advice will be crucial to the development of these young defensemen. He’s also a role model for these young players, for he has played with Type 1 diabetes since he began his NHL playing career.
    Boynton will play top minutes on the PK with Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson. His good shot blocking ability and defensive prowess will make him an integral part of the Blackhawks’ defensive core. At a knockoff price of $500,000 for one year, Boynton is the perfect fit.
    That one year, $500,000 deal keeps a veteran in Chicago and adds even more depth to the Blackhawks roster. Now the blue line has 7 players with NHL experience and contains 3 great prospects ready to burst into the league. That’s ten NHL ready players! Furthermore, 5 of those players are signed with deals under $1 million, so there’s little cap tension if one defenseman goes down.
    So, in review, Boynton, a former All-Star, and an all around defenseman, stays another year for a bargain at $500,000. What more could the Blackhawks have asked for?