Guest blogger: Gravy … The Whipping Boy Meter


The Good, the Bad, and the Whipping Boys

People like a good villain … someone that they just love to hate.  Some are more obvious than others.  There are movie characters, like Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, and Tony Montana.   They are so evil that you want to see them pay for their actions, until you come to understand there are deeper internal struggles with which you can sympathize. There are sports figures, like Alex Rodriguez, whose perceived arrogance regarding PEDs infuriates many people. You have Ray Lewis and Aaron Hernandez, who seem likely to have participated in or committed vicious crimes.  One can understand the motivation for the utter contempt for the aforementioned fictional and non-fictional individuals.
Then there are the players to whom many fans just cannot bring themselves to give any latitude.  And these players wind up on the Whipping Boy Meter.  Every game.  The players on the list over the years are plentiful: Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Marek Malik, Michal Roszival, Jaromir Jagr, Valeri Kamensky, and Alexei Kovalev are some of the more recent members.
So let’s take a look at three current Rangers who cannot escape the WBM©, and what are the reasons they are consistently berated by a large contingent of boneheads.

Note: number in parentheses indicates average WBM© position (lower number is worse).

Brad Richards (1)

Well, this one is pretty easy, but not 100% was his doing.   Richards was considered the top of the 2011 free agent class, so looking only at the acquisition itself, there were not many complaints.  The questions began with the length of contract and the dollars involved.  Nine years and $60M for a 31 year old with a concussion history gave us reservations.  All things considered, Richards played pretty well his first season, helping the team to within two wins of the Stanley Cup Finals with some clutch goals and playmaking throughout the regular season and playoffs.  Maybe not an elite first-line center, but certainly a major reason the Rangers got to where they did.
Then came the lockout and seemingly being a step behind the following season.  He was seemingly put on every single power play regardless of how poorly he performed on it.  If you extrapolate his point totals, Richards would have had 61 points over a full 82 games (compared to 66) the year before.  Not a significant drop, but then followed up by one goal in the playoffs and the infamous scratches in the last two games.
This one ultimately gets chalked up to the contract and expectations that come with it.  While no one can blame a player for signing a contract, there is an onus to come prepared and perform.  And for the most part, Richards has done neither.

Michael Del Zotto (2)

Del Zotto is an interesting case because he is almost a victim of his initial success. When he arrived in 2009, he showed offensive flashes that reminded some fans of Brian Leetch in accumulating 37 points.  Then came the sophomore slump the following season, and eventual demotion. Earning a roster spot out of camp in 2011, Del Zotto put together a solid season (41 points in 77 games) and playoffs (10 points in 20 games).  Last season, he tallied 21 points in 46 games, or 37 over a full 82-game season.
Del Zotto being a whipping boy is a little less clear.  He is essentially the fourth defenseman on the Rangers, and I think no less than 26 teams would be happy with that.  He has contributed the most points from the blueliners the last few seasons, with average defensive play.  He seems to play best when the other team gets in his face, thinking back to the Ottawa series against Chris Neil in 2012.  Perhaps it relates to the struggles the power play has had the last few seasons. However, I think that he raised the bar for himself early, and there were expectations that he would blossom. At 23 and in a new system, I think there is still hope that he becomes an even better offensive contributor.

Brian Boyle (0 – Permanent)

Then there is Brian Boyle, whose value has been debated here ad nauseum. He came to the Rangers as a raw third/fourth line checking center with size.  He showed the ability to win faceoffs, forecheck, play solid defense, and kill penalties.  When he exploded for 21 goals in the 2010-2011, he doomed himself to be the epitome of the whipping boy.  It seems that no matter how well he plays in other areas, he is considered terrible when he is not scoring.
I think that he adds significant value to the team, even when he is not scoring. Unfortunately, those contributions usually don’t show up on the stat sheets.  There have been arguments that you can get the same skills from minor leaguers at half the cost.  However, being an excellent defensive player is more difficult in today’s NHL, with much of the clutching and grabbing a thing of the past.  He is more of a 10-goal scorer (last year was probably as much of an aberration as the 21 goals) and is perfectly acceptable as a fouth-line center/wing.  If and when he is traded or let walk, he will be much harder to replace than many think.

Photo by Getty Images.

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  1. good morning and long time no see everyone!!! love the list of whipping boys… if richards doesn’t get a hat trick on opening night, he’ll be doomed for the year!

    anyone try the new nhl 14 demo yet? really enjoyed the nhl 94 mode, think that will be real fun to mess around with all day long with buddies, and the fighting is much, much improved.

  2. ibleedrangersblue on

    nice read gravy!

    …BUT I cannot believe you left out Tom Poti as recent whipping boy, got booed every night at the garden then went to play for of all teams t he islanders and continued to get booed every time he touched the puck at the garden

  3. ibleedrangersblue on

    I played it tf, a lot of people are saying its just a 60$ roster update but I totally disagree… the hand just feels like it plays right now, last yr was good but the timing always felt off and it was very frustrating at times… and the fighting is awesome

  4. Great guest post. I’d say you can even divide the WMB into a few different categories. The large contract FA WBM, the homegrown WBM that fails to reach unrealistic expectations especially when compared to an all time franchise/league great and the WBM that gets criticized for not playing above his respective skillset.

  5. Thanks Gravy, good job. Pretty fair assessment of those three players. Thanks also for clearing up for me what WBM actually stands for. Since I am relatively new, I was unsure and had my own versions of its meaning.
    Worst Bonehead Move was what I settled on but this makes more sense.

  6. The first real whipping boy I could remember was Barry Beck, who came with HIGH expectations, but could never live up to it, for various reasons.

    I agree with your assessments. For Richards, if he was making half that money, his stats would be acceptable. I just think he was overvalued to begin with and got much more money than he was worth. This was doomed to fail from the beginning.

    Del Zotto, well I’ve always been a supporter of his. I always think people forget that he’s still a kid at 23 now, and that he came up like gangbusters at 19. I think though he’s a kid who needs his ego stroked instead of benched and screamed at and that Torts was all wrong for him. I expect him to break out this year. If he doesn’t, I will be on the whipping boy bandwagon as well.

    Boyle is an interesting case, because really he plays well and he plays hurt. But I think he’s never been the same since his concussion, and is tentative. Still, I do think guys like him are a lot harder to find than you think. Put him on Boston, and he’s probably as good as the three 4th line guys that NBC made such a huge deal about. And he’s been pretty clutch over the years as well. Are there better players than him? Absolutely. Can he serve the role of 4th line center, faceoff expert and PK well? Definitely.

    I do think some players get the benefit of the doubt for some reason when they should be whipped. Bickel is the classic case. For some reason, he was defended over and over again here, when it was obvious the guy has little hockey talent and was getting beaten on a regular basis. But yeah, he’s a tough guy, and fights well, so we love him. Finally, he got his due with the coaching staff and here on the blog. He was the anti-whipping boy :)

  7. more wbm over the years..willie huber, hollweg, stemkowski,vickers,hatfield,avery,hodge,and the massive amount of coaches…Espo,campbell,webster,trots,muckler,sather,renney and wait for it…….Torts

  8. I think Vigneault was already outcoached by Boyle’s mom. She recommended that Brian sleep late on Sunday. Worked out great for him. Where was Vigneault and his Sleep Pathologist on that one?

  9. Did you see the heart-warming story about what Henrik Lundqvist did with some of the money from his current contract? He bought himself 3 homes in NY, Miami and Sweden worth $10 million.. Well, at least there aren’t any charities that could have used a chunk of change like that.

  10. that is why STATS do not tell the story. you say over 82 games Richards projected to have 61 points. not bad right? wrong! he was playing awful. it not about his numbers, its about how his awful play effected the team. because he was awful, it took time to find Nash the right center. it hurt Gabby as well. he was bounced from line to line because no one could thrive playing with Richards. Richards awful play hurt the whole team. Richards STATS are meaningless.

  11. now Boyle’s problem is not how he plays, but how much he plays. you describe a solid 4th line player. Boyle plays 3rd line, sometimes 2nd line minutes. you play those kind of minutes, and in all situations, you need to produce more. his value goes down the more he plays.

  12. MDZ is all about attitude, and consistency. his perceived attitude is of someone who does not care, would rather be partying. MDZ is probably the most inconsistent Ranger I have have ever seen play. one second he looks like a top offensive Dman, the next he looks like he should be out of the league. you say he is the number 4 Dman on the team. I will say he should be the number 1 by now, and that he is probably the number 5 right now, and falling.

  13. The problem most people seem to have with Boyle is because he plays more minutes and earns more than the average 4th liner, but people forget how good he is on the PK and that it boosts his minutes every night. Last year he was 56% on the dot, dished out 4 hits a game and 1 blocked shot. Hopefully this year he will score 12-15 goals, if not he might not be Ranger for long, given the impending arrival of Lindberg and/or Miller.

    Personally i love DZ, as Steve says, he came in like gangbusters and we all expected him to take it from there, but most d-men don’t mature until their mid-late 20’s. I would like to see more from him on the powerplay, but i think AV will help pick him up (after Torts tried the tough love approach) and take him to the next level over the next 2-3 seasons.

    Richards should be gone, end of. Justified whipping boy, took huge contract then couldn’t produce when given the chance to play with a bonafide power forward, a bonafide sniper, talented young speedsters or Captain USA (or Arron Asham).

  14. Thanks Manny!! and Bulldog spot on about Richards. I think he should have been a healthy scratch a lot sooner than the last two games of the playoffs.

  15. Richards should have been scratched during the Regular Season. He was horrible and really, really needed a wake up call. I expect him to be MUCH better this season. Definitely a fine #2 Center.

    Boyle is what he is and he’s a damn good example of that.

  16. It means that I like Boyle. I really think he’s difficult to replace and he will not be appreciated while we have him. It’s precisely what Gravy said above.

  17. Nice job Gravy.

    One has to chuckle if you Michal Rozsival going from the “top whipping boy” at MSG to Stanley Cup Champion in Chicago.

    So I’ve never had Del Zotto on my WBM all that often. Yes he came out hot, and put up a lot of points early. But at 19, 20, 21 years of age it’s hard not to cut him some slack at such a young age. He is by far the most tradable asset we have on the blue line, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is shopped at the trade deadline, solely on what his new contract is going to cost the Rangers, vs the cap space they will have left to sign him.

  18. I like Boyle as well, but replacing regular season Boyle will not be that hard. remember when everybody was worried about replacing Blair Betts? playoff Boyle may be a little harder to replace.

  19. Gravy I’m thinking Richards will take over the (0) spot. For several reasons, if he gets hurt this year, and can’t be bought out, his contract is going to kill the Rangers cap space.

    And how do you get paid $12M, and not come to camp in shape and ready to play. He looked old and slow last year. Now will he “bounce” back this year, I’m thinking so. He is playing for his next contract. Because he knows he is going to be bought out after this year.

  20. If Boyle can bring his “playoff” game, he will have a spot on this team. If he starts to look slow, I’m thinking Miller &/or Lindberg will take his spot, again for cap reasons.

    The Rangers will have the same production out of the youth, at a third of the cost.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded at the deadline, if the youth is ready.

  21. Stepan is still not signed. someone is going to have to be traded in order to get it done.

  22. They are going to need to waive someone like Pyatt to get at least $1M of Cap Space.

    Who’s your choice, bull dog?

  23. Cross Check Charlie on

    “that is why STATS do not tell the story. you say over 82 games Richards projected to have 61 points. ”

    Richards padded his stats in the last 6 games against a bunch of lousy teams. They need for him to play well more than 6 games a season.

  24. I think the options for waiving are (keeping in mind the guys need to be claimed):

    Stralman ($1.7M)
    Pyatt ($1.55M)
    Biron ($1.3M)
    Boyle ($1.7M)

    These aren’t preferences for me. Just guys that would make just enough cap space.

  25. Manny,
    I do not want to trade someone for draft picks. so I would look for a bigger trade. I want players coming back. while Boyle would make sense because they signed his replacement, and have young players in the system that could replace him, I don’t think subtracting him for a draft pick makes them better. to me, MDZ is the guy.MDZ as a center piece of a trade could really bring you back some solid value.

  26. of your 4 guys Manny, the only one that makes sense is Pyatt. the other 3 would get claimed right away.

  27. My vote would be Stralman. I understand the argument to trade Del Zaster. It just scares me because I’m a wimp. But he really could bring something serious back and with Falk and a D-Man coming back in any trade we could be OK.

  28. Pyatt or Boyle? Pyatt played all 48 games had 11 points.

    Boyle 38 games 5 points, -13. You look at his stats last year and he looks like the one that should be traded.

    Who’s easier to move?

  29. Cross Check, as somebody in the organization said, “He had 11 points in six games without a single scoring chance.”

  30. As sucky as he was last year, a serious contender would love to have a guy like Boyle. And he’d be really good in that role with a serious contender.

  31. I also still believe that they are going to trade Boyle. 1.7 and an RFA next year. his number is going to go up, and he won’t be worth that number. they have signed his replacement (Moore), and have guys on the way up (Lindberg, and MIller), to replace Moore after this year. Boyle is the most logical guy to be traded.

  32. Carp,
    yes Boyle would be real good in a 4th line role on a contender, no doubt. but that is not the role he plays with the Rangers, and in a salary cap world 1.7 is to much for a 4th line role player. if there was not a salary cap, you could have a guy like Boyle, and be real happy about it.

  33. Put Boyle on Boston’s 4th line. He would fit right in, and with our luck he would be the next “Rozsival” and have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.

  34. Nice piece, Gravy. If Richards comes out of the starting gate like he’s skating in slush, Slather will be red-faced the rest of the season, and his job in peril. Nice assessment…but, as others have mentioned, how about the coaches and managers??

  35. “He had 11 points in six games without a single scoring chance.”

    and a hat trick without having a shot on goal

  36. Great to see, on August 21, the bcnehead energy start to rev-up.

    Pyatt doesn’t fit top 6 on an offensively challenged NHL team.
    If Richards does not prove himself to be a competent #2 center, he’s miscast elsewhere, thus an anchor rather than an oar.
    DelZ might have fallen to #6 opening up. Use it or lose it.
    If Boyle is to be a center rather than a wing, it’s on the 4th line.
    Time for McDonuts to be given more chance to show his latent offensive skills.
    Kreider must play every night and the kids are due to step up.

  37. pyatt asham and powe all need to be waived.

    stralman was great in the caps series last year. boyle is useful in 4th line role only.

    keep biron for one more year until hes a ufa next summer. then the cam talbot era begins as backup to hank

  38. september 5th traverse city begins.

    rangers play carolina at 330pm sept 5th msg? i hope they televise.

    sept 6th rangers vs buffalo at 4pm

    sept 8th vs columbus at 630pm

    sept 9th
    7th place 330
    5th place 400
    3rd place 700
    1st place 730

    other division is detroit st louis minnesota dallas

  39. Cross Check Charlie on

    ilb – weren’t 5 or 6 of those goals empty netters or am I misremembering?

  40. I don’t understand the love that MDZ engenders. To my eyes, he’s an average skater who too frequently looks confused and scared in his own zone. Yes, he has a knack for the touchdown pass but doesn’t look much better to me than a 5th or 6th D man.

    Meanwhile, Stralman quietly does a solid job. A much better skater than DZ and looks to be improving year after year at both blue lines.

  41. tc03, that was a sarcastic post designed to mock Carp for attacking a black guy’s expenditures of his own earnings. He would never attack Henrik Lundqvist for his personal expenditures. #HenrikIsWhite

  42. Cross Check Charlie on

    I think Carp would make fun of just about anybody. He’s an equal opportunity wisecracker.

  43. That wasn’t making fun of someone. That was an attack with fervor. There also was no apology or mea culpa when his idiocy was exposed as the black guy is involved with numerous charities.

  44. Can’t say for absolute certain, but if Richards had signed that contract then went out clubbing in a new $450,000 armored car, I might mock him. Despite his whiteness. (s)

  45. Anyone that criticizes me for standing up to racism against blacks needs to look in the mirror.

  46. I guess we will never know, Carp…..

    But I guess buying that car would be the same thing as him *not* getting his teeth fixed.

    Good to see the grey shading on your comments is back.

  47. I’m not going to get into the childish back and forth.

    I know you personally, we’ve become friendly, you’ve been kind to me and sent me a gift.

    I stood up to racism against blacks. That’s the end of it.

  48. _Anyone that criticizes me for standing up to racism against blacks needs to look in the mirror._

    I just looked in the mirror…surprisingly, i am still white ;P

  49. Hey, Tiki – had enough of you. Blast yourself off into Space to test the effects of weightlessness on weightlessness.

  50. Now that the party is jumping
    With the bass kicked in, and the Vegas are pumpin’
    Quick to the point, to the point, no faking
    Cooking MCs like a pound of *bacon*
    Burning them they ain’t quick and nimble
    I go crazy when I hear a cymbal
    And a hi hat with a souped up tempo
    I’m on a roll and it’s time to go solo

    Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby

  51. Cross Check Charlie on

    ” I listened to a hip-hop song”

    And it was probably coming from a car 4 blocks away.

  52. ibleedrangersblue on

    ok so I come home and my wife is watching abc family, some show called baby daddy…I pay it no mind…all of a sudden u hear three main character of the show is a player for the new york rangers… they show logos and him in the lockerroom in full jersey…so wierd

  53. Also think Tony Montana would make a nice enforcer. He could ride shotgun for Nash. Maybe Lucic won’t knock Nash down and menace him with Tony Montana on his line.

    Nash could say to Lucic, “Hey Lou Cheese. Say hello to my little friend”

  54. @Buccigross: Chris Drury watching California vs Connecticut Little League World Series. Chance this is mentioned on Sportscenter? 7000% #hockeyGod

  55. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Who writes this garbage?

    Sorry I’m late to the party…I’m “down the shore”. First, thanks to Carp for letting us do this. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of this blog and wanted to give back.

    Trying to write something interesting was a challenge so I’m happy it spurred some debate. Poti was a big oversight on my part.

    WBM(c) is copryrighted, but Carp doesnot have to pay royalties according to the terms of service below.

    For those who asked, WBM(c) is players only…so no coaches or GMs (too easy anyway).

    Glad none of the three were black players.

  56. 99% of the racism cries I hear these days are knee-jerk, lazy responses to something other than that.

    It is the first response of some feeble-minded people who use it as an excuse for their selfish, ignorant, rude or insensitive behavior.

  57. tomb
    Obama is more of an enemy [than Osama]

    May 1st, 2011 at 11:21 PM


    You certainly sound like a rational, non feeble-minded person. (s)

  58. Hang in there UK. Getting closer every day. Traverse prospect tourney is only two weeks away. We’ll get to complain about how lousy our young talent is.

  59. Okay, Custance ESPN rated the Rangers forwards as the eighth best in the league and the D corp as the third best in the league. Accurate? Off the mark? or WAY off the mark?

    It is ESPN after all.

  60. Great question, C-Dubs. If anything, he obviously overrated them. But I need to read the article and figure out if maybe I am just underrating them.

  61. ?@NYRUnlimited 3m

    Underrated player IMO RT @IgorEronko Belarus TV-channel ONT reports Mikhail Grabovski will sign contract with #Caps today

  62. Grabovski is a great signing by the Capitals. He’s definitely got a lot of upside. Plus he bites people.

  63. Sorry Manny no link. Not an insider either. I too think he may have over rated our boys. I mean with Hank and the top 3 D and top 8 forwards we should be a lock for tops in the conference? Kind of reminds me of last Summer’s predictions, you know we were supposed to win it all last year.

  64. No idea if its legal or was legal. I know we “talked” about it but I believe turning your back to the goaler will be illegal going forward. To me if you want to do a spinorama move, the opposing team should be able to start a defender on the far blue line to chase you down. Try to spin then.

  65. Wonder if it would be legal against Brodeur to carry a Double Whopper in your left hand while you slide the puck in the right corner.

  66. I actually think that’s a great idea for all attempts, SeeeDubb. Have a D-man start in the other zone, and force these pansies to score on the breakaway, not these slow motion waltzes they’re all doing now. Of course, The Little Italian Kid would have to go back to Norway then.

    BCATHGE. Love it.

  67. How about we just go to NO GOALIES in OT? That would certainly solve some issues. One on One. Mano e Mano. Two dudes, one puck.

  68. Or, how about we just get one lucky fan from the crowd to come in and play goalie for the skills contest?

    If you want to know why the Shootout sucks just watch Patrick Kane in ANY shootout attempt.

  69. Would be interesting to watch DelZ bang one off the glass with no opposition and no goalie in net.

  70. Vigneault at first practice: “You guys have had it easy around here. No more country club!”

    Hags: “Did he just say what I thought he said?”

  71. Maybe we should put together a 4,000,000 part list, including sub sections, of why the shootout is the dumbest idea ever.

    Also dumb is any idea that modifies OT into anything other than one extra period of hockey.

  72. COOS…,
    long time I wanted to ask you: are you of any Russian heritage, background, legacy or special Russian’s interest?
    No offence to any and all: Russians, anti-Russians, wanna be Russians, black Russians, white Russians etc.

  73. I like Russian hockey, Russian Lit, and Russian dressing, 4ever. Other than that, I’m a neophyte. (but I’m thinking of becoming a Presbyterian)

  74. I know, coos…lol. The reason I’m asking, is your undeniable, variegated general education level, in conjunction with an almost intangible(we like this term, don’t we?),slipping here and there, little “Russian” things, showing slightly more than usual, elevated interest to the subject…

  75. Carp’s new job under Putin Administration: Sportswriter for The Oymyakon Siberia Daily Frostbite.

  76. 4ever, I must admit to a long- standing interest in the history of that old, old country. Our idea here of ancient times is the ’69 Mets. :)

  77. I mean no disrespect to Frostbite, Presbyterians, or the Met’s, by the way and I apologize in advance to those whom I might have offended.

  78. I want to apologize to all the people i haven’t offended yet… please, do not be offended if i haven’t offended you yet… sorry.

  79. That’s what I’m talking about…Not all of Yakuts know Oymyakon, even when sober. By far above average knowledge. In a times of cold war and comrade McCarthy era, suspicion of you being a Russian spy, would be totally justified. Please, take my admirations…

  80. To all those who have not yet been offended, please stay on the line and someone will get to you shortly.

  81. Yeah, I’m ready to abuse any stupidity indiscriminately. But, I’m afraid,that my thirst for wording(?) violence toward stupidity will be Jagaresque non-satisfied, it needs talent like Swift’s or Saltykov-Shchedrin’s. Not in English,alas. Sigh!
    Look, the criteria of smartness may vary depending on a culture, but stupidity is universal.
    From other hand, you do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with that life experience. Sigh !!!!

  82. I’m offended that no one else is offended by the offensive tone of the Worstest b- log on the intercense!!!

  83. No, he is not, trust me, but infantile he is, unfortunately. Other than that he is well-hearted kid with idiosyncrasies.

  84. cooscoos: “To all those who have not yet been offended, please stay on the line and someone will get to you shortly.”


  85. You know Carp, sometimes, scrolling through the blog, I’m thinking that it is a shame, that people who know how to manage a hockey team, already are busy working on other jobs(taxi drivers, barbers,fast food joints, etc.)
    Don’t you think so?

  86. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©" Don't Stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    What I hate is that the NHL shows the players salaries , back in the day no one knew who was getting what. Hockey was fun , no worries about money , no worries about salary caps. Now a days everyone thinks they are a GM and they juggle numbers here and juggle numbers there. I wanna watch hockey and FORGET about money and numbers. Hey we pay the tickets, we pay the cable bill so Just for once can we root on our team without worrying about the money?

  87. Carp, heard some good stories about Patriot Hills. One was that with some of the elevated tees, you convince yourself that you’re powering out 280 yard tee shots, and another was a mild complaint about the sort of succession of par 3’s on the back. I was told one of them was a semi-drivable 4, but an abutting neighbor complained about golf balls bouncing off his house, so they shortened it to a 3. If everyone used Pro V1’s, I wouldn’t complain about the golf balls; they’d probably pay for the property taxes each year. :)

  88. Very good article. Comments started deteriorating rather quickly. No doubt with BR that the contract is the issue. Blame that on management, along with the fact that he was supposedly brought in to feed Gabby, and not only did it not work out as planned, but no more Gabby. Might have worked under a more offensive minded coach. MDZ is like an honorary Clinton; people either love him or hate him. No middle ground. Must have to do with the draft position and/or hype. He’s a top 6 guy no doubt; just accept him for what he is because he’s not perfect but not terrible either. Boyle is another contract kind of guy. Wins about 65% of his faceoffs starting mostly in the defensive end and a big, defensively responsible body. Pretty valuable. Can you get the same for less? Maybe. At the end of the day a coach has to deal with the roster the GM has presented him with. But Boyle vs.Payatt? Really? No contest Boyle. Guys may not be the ideal types for the situations they are put in, but, if the coach is a good one, they are the best one available for that situation. Seems like most of the whipping boys happen because of not being worth the contract they’ve signed, but who’s fault is that? Granted, the Rangers have signed more than their fair share of free agent busts over the years. But don’t blame a guy with a very limited shelf life for taking a ridiculous amount of money when offered.

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