NHL

Numbers Game: Boyle joins Rangers

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Scott Cullen
7/1/2014 8:43:32 PM
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The New York Rangers addressed a hole on their defence by signing a veteran puck mover.

Numbers Game examines the Rangers' signing of Dan Boyle.

The Rangers Get: D Dan Boyle.

Boyle, 37, has been one of the most productive blueliners in the league for more than a decade, though his role has declined lately. Last season's average time on ice, 21:17 per game, was his lowest since 2001-2002.

Since 2002-2003, Nicklas Lidstrom is the only defenceman to put up more points than Boyle's 502, but a lot of that is dependent on power play production where, over the past eight seasons, he's scored 187 of his 357 points (52.4%) with the man advantage.

He's consistently posted solid, and sometimes better, possession numbers, though he's rarely been tasked with facing the opposition's best forwards.

That role should probably continue with the Rangers, where he effectively replaces Anton Stralman, who signed with Tampa Bay. Boyle isn't Stralman's equal defensively, but is a better puck carrier and power play quarterback. Furthermore, since he's older, the Rangers didn't invest the same kind of term as they would have to keep Stralman, who signed for five years in Tampa Bay.

Boyle signed for $9-million over a couple seasons, an entirely reasonable price for a top-four defenceman.

The Sharks had already made the decision that they were moving on from Boyle earlier, and decided to shift Brent Burns from right wing back to defence in order to fill those minutes.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Dan Boyle (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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