When it came time for defenseman Dan Boyle to find a new home, the other guys didn't stand much of a chance.
Boyle, who signed a two-year deal worth $9 million with the Rangers at the beginning of the month, said in a conference call Monday that his decision ultimately came down to playing in a traditional hockey market at Madison Square Garden for an Original Six team -- even if it meant leaving money on the table.
"You can make more money elsewhere, but at the end of the day, you want to be happy," the 37-year-old Canadian said. "I played in non-traditional hockey markets and I wanted to experience something different."
ESPN.com reported that Boyle eschewed more lucrative offers in choosing to play for the Rangers. He previously fielded interest from the Red Wings, Lightning, Maple Leafs and others. The Islanders, who originally traded for Boyle's rights from his old club, the San Jose Sharks, also "made a big push [and put in] a lot of effort," Boyle said, but ultimately no one could top the Rangers.
"I've read [stories] that say I wanted to be on a contender," he said. "Well, there's no guarantee. The Islanders are an up-and-coming team, but at the end of the day, I wanted to go to an Original Six team."
Boyle led the Sharks in ice time last year, averaging 21:52 per game, and had 12 goals and 24 assists in 75 games despite an early-season concussion that affected him for the first three months of the season, he said Monday. "A lot of people were saying it was the age factor, but I don't buy that for a second," he said. "I have no problem playing minutes. That's why you keep yourself in shape . . . I'm going in to make a difference. I'm one of the guys who wants the puck and who wants to make plays."
Boyle said he hopes to bolster the Rangers' struggling power play but recognizes that with players such as Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal on the team, he might not get the playing time he's accustomed to receiving.
"You gotta earn your ice time, no matter what I've done in the past," he said. "It'll be a competition of sorts, but at the end, we want to win hockey games, and if I have to play less, so be it."
There were so many factors that went into his decision, he said -- not the least of which was being able to play in one of his favorite places, the Garden.
He'll be reunited with an old friend, Martin St. Louis, whom he played with on the Lightning. "It was a big factor," he said. "We've had similar careers and it would be a great opportunity to play with him again."
Then, about the 39-year-old St. Louis: "And I'm not going to be the oldest guy on the team anymore. That's why I wanted to go to the Rangers."
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