February 28, 2011
The optimistic view of the Buffalo Sabres' trade for St. Louis Blues forward Brad Boyes(notes) on Sunday night, costing them a second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, is that he's shown a penchant for dynamic offense when paired with the right linemates.
Boyes has frustrated fans and management for two seasons now and for the better part of those years fans would have been happy to see him move on to a different team. Only no other team wanted an overpaid, underachieving winger who can backcheck but doesn't do a lot else when he's not scoring.
Now, of course, Boyes has gotten on a hot streak and has moved up to third on the team scoring list this year. He has managed to contribute to the offense by setting players up when he's not scoring and teams looking for some depth scoring (and hoping for a jump from a change of scenery for a notoriously streaky scorer) might be willing to take a flier on Boyes, who is still under contract next year for another $4 million cap hit.
Then there are jokes like this one about Boyes' shooting prowess.
That said, Boyes isn't a bad move for the Sabres for this season. He can play right wing or at center, giving the Sabres some lineup options. But it's that $4 million on the cap for 2011-12 that makes you go "hmmmmm ..."; that's Derek Roy(notes) money for a player that hasn't been in Derek Roy territory for two years. Hey, it's Terry Pegula's money.
On the Puck Daddy Milbury Scale (see here for details), we're going to give this one Two Milburys. No idea what that second-rounder could become, but there's a chance Buffalo Sabres fans will be carping about the same deficiencies in Boyes' game (and his salary) next season as St. Louis fans have. The Blues having saved all that coin next season nearly pushes this into Three Milbury territory, were it not for the fact that Boyes can still get the offensive cranked now and again.
UPDATE: Audio from Boyes from the Blues website."It's never fun to have it happen."