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Brad Boyes: Should Islanders keep or move him?

Wednesday, 03.20.2013 / 7:14 PM / 2013 Trade Deadline

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Brad Boyes: Should Islanders keep or move him?
Brad Boyes has been one of the bargains of the offseason, so would the Islanders consider cashing in an improved asset despite trying to make the playoffs?

New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow generally has avoided high-cost, long-term free-agent signings. Instead, he's mined the depths of the marketplace, unearthing some real gems.

In 2009, he found 30-goal scorer Matt Moulson after the Los Angeles Kings chose not to sign him. In October 2010, Snow snagged speedy forward Michael Grabner off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

And in the summer of 2012, Snow signed Brad Boyes after the Buffalo Sabres showed no interest in re-signing the forward, and the reward has been a rejuvenated player who already has matched his full-season offensive output from 2011-12.

It's been a great comeback for Boyes, but will he finish it with the Islanders?

NHL.com examines the pros and cons to the Islanders making Boyes available to move prior to the April 3, 2013 NHL Trade Deadline:

BRAD BOYES

Position: Right wing

Age: 30

Statistics: 28 games, 8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points

Salary status: Boyes signed a one-year, $1 million contract over the summer, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Keep him: The Islanders have ridden their top line of Boyes, John Tavares and Moulson to the brink of contention for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so why would the team look to unload its top-line right wing? Boyes has undergone a career renaissance on Long Island after a rough season with the Buffalo Sabres that saw him drop to the fourth line, then out of the lineup altogether. Boyes is young enough to have a few more productive seasons and he's obviously meshed well with Tavares. Like with Moulson and Michael Grabner in years past, Snow again has hit a home run on a low-cost pickup, and a new contract could be in the offing for Boyes.

Move him: The Islanders were three points out of a playoff spot as of Wednesday, and though making the postseason for the first time since 2007 would be great, it will be a tough path for them to travel. In addition, Boyes' strong season could convince a solid playoff team to part with a prospect or draft pick which the Islanders could use to further rebuild themselves into consistent contenders.

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