Boyle announced that he is leaning toward retirement for family reasons Tuesday, Andrew Gross of The Recordreports. In a press conference on breakup day, Boyle spoke to the press regarding his playing status next season. The 39-year-old defenseman said he believes he could still play, but may retire--he has yet to make an official decision. He's tallied 605 points (163 goals, 442 assists) in 1,093 NHL games.
Boyle was a healthy scratch for Game 5 against the Penguins on Saturday. The Rangers desperately need to take Game 5 in order to stay alive in the postseason. Boyle has just one point -- an assist -- in the series, and was minus-2 over the last games, so a shakeup was in order. Raphael Diaz drew into the lineup instead.
Boyle (illness) returned to practice Wednesday, and The Record's Tom Gross reports that he's good to go for the evening's game. Boyle's absence from Tuesday was reportedly partly for precautionary reasons, and he will now be ready. However, Newsday's Steve Zipay notes that he could still sit out of the contest as a healthy scratch. The veteran isn't the offensive threat he once was (just 16 points in 49 games), but remains a sneaky option for daily formats.
Boyle missed practice Tuesday while dealing with the flu. The Rangers have yet to officially rule on his status for Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks, but at this point there appears to be a real possibility Boyle will be held out of at least that contest. Ryan McDonagh (concussion) is expected to return, so that may be the only corresponding roster move even if Boyle is forced to miss time with the illness.
Boyle's point drought hit eight games in Sunday's 5-2 loss to Washington. At first, it seemed the veteran defenseman had snapped the streak with wrister on the power play, but the goal was disallowed after the replay revealed offsides on the play. While Boyle has been under the microscope for a lack of offensive production since he arrived in New York, his current skid is a season-worst. With a career worst point-per-game pace through 159 career games in February, there's no guarantee the 39-year-old Ontario native will break out of his slump any time soon. Still, Boyle's five goals and 14 points through 39 games this season is more than enough to warrant patience in deeper league formats.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||71||10||16||27||3||4||1||1||0||0||115.7|