The Rangers players met the media at their practice facility for the final time after their five-game elimination at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. One of the most anticipated interviews was Boyle, the 39-year-old pending unrestricted free agent whose time with the team was likely over and whose NHL future was murky at best.
As reporters crowded around him, Boyle noted the presence of one in particular: Larry Brooks of the New York Post, whom you may remember from his years-long battle with former coach John Tortorella.
Before speaking to the media scrum, Boyle said he wanted Brooks to leave the interview area, offering a personal criticism of his work as well.
“I don’t want him here,” said Boyle.
“What?” Brooks said. “You know, the feeling’s mutual, man.”
“Nobody likes you. Nobody respects you. Just so you know,” said Boyle.
“OK,” said Brooks.
“At least I’m leaving here with the respect of my teammates,” said Boyle. "Instead of [expletive] someone like you, who tries to bury somebody. That's all you do. It's not a critique. I'm telling you I don't want you here. I have no respect for you. I want you to get the [expletive] out.”
“I don’t care what you think,” said Brooks.
“I can tell you to get the [expletive] out if I want to!” said Boyle, his voice now raised.
“You can, but I don’t have to listen to you,” said Brooks.
“Yeah, ya do!” said Boyle. “I want him out. And that other [expletive] clown, Brett, or whatever the [expletive] his name is. Where's he at? Everyone else is fine. I want him out. It’s my right."
Rangers staff stepped in to calm the scene down, and suggested Boyle not speak to the media at that time.
"Can they not all stay here? I have tons of respect for some of these guys. I just don't want him here. That should be fine," said Boyle.
At this point, Brooks hadn't left yet.
"Can you just [expletive] leave?!" Boyle asked again, loudly.
"If you had asked me politely, I might have," said Brooks.
Boyle: "POLITELY? Why would I be polite with you? Are you kidding me?"
Brooks then told Boyle to "grow up," Boyle laughed that off and Brooks walked off to another interview.
Boyle was a frequent target for Brooks during his time with the Rangers. The Post reporter wrote at the start of the season that “allowing Anton Stralman to escape as a free agent in order to sign Dan Boyle on July 1, 2014, stands as Glen Sather’s most regrettable decision of the final 10 years of the Rangers president’s tenure as general manager."
The “Brett” in question was fellow Post reporter Brett Cyrgalis, who wasn’t actually in attendance on Tuesday morning in Tarrytown. He hammered Boyle in an article published after the Rangers elimination, as Boyle was a healthy scratch in Game 5: “He was a big-time disappointment for the Blueshirts, and that might be how his career ends — watching instead of playing.”
Later, he tweeted:
Response to Dan Boyle? I did my job. Not sure he ever did his.
— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) April 26, 2016
As for Boyle, he said he was proud to have the chance to play for an Original Six team, and that he still feels like he could physically play in the NHL. No decision on his future has been reached, but retirement is the likely option.
Maybe he'll join the hockey media, see how the other half lives.
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