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Boyle expecting contract offer when teams sort out NHL salary cap

Unrestricted free agent center says he'll use this as motivation for big season

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Brian Boyle, who became an unrestricted free agent July 1, is trying to make the best of the situation as he waits for an offer from an NHL team.

The 34-year-old center, who had 24 points (18 goals, six assists) in 73 games last season for the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators, figures when he eventually gets signed he'll use the 2019-20 season to prove people wrong.

And that's motivating him this offseason.

"Yeah, that's the way I like to put it if I'm going through a rough day at the gym, it gets you through some things. It's kind of an 'I'll show them' type of thing," Boyle said after playing in the Foxboro Pro League on Wednesday. "I mean, I understand my age, I understand what kind of value cap space is now. I think it's a huge currency in the League and that makes sense. But I've also always felt that I've met or exceeded kind of where I am and where I fall. I just want to have an opportunity to win. Because I've come close, I've had a very fortunate career and I want to keep going."

Video: TOR@NSH: Boyle finishes give-and-go with Smith

Boyle, who reached the Stanley Cup Final twice, losing with the New York Rangers in 2014 and the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015, was traded from the Devils to the Predators on Feb. 6 for Nashville's second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Predators won the Central Division but lost to the Dallas Stars in six games in the Western Conference First Round.

Boyle had five goals in 26 regular-season games for the Predators but was limited to three games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs because he had appendix surgery.

He says he is back to his regular summer training schedule but he's in a holding pattern as teams sort out where they stand with the $81.5 million NHL salary cap.

"I'm waiting. You know, it's funny, there's just a lot of moving pieces. It's very well-documented as to how the cap kind of worked itself out," said Boyle, who has 216 points (124 goals, 92 assists) in 766 NHL games. "I liked my year, I really did … I was happy that I had the opportunity to go down there to Nashville and play in those meaningful games. They all are [meaningful], but the playoff race was fun. I'm kind of waiting. Waiting on … hopefully a piece of the puzzle moves somewhere and there's a domino effect.

"But yeah, I feel good so I'm excited. Whatever ends up happening, I'm at pretty good peace with it, but also it's nice to have a little extra motivation. Wherever I do end up going to, I'm always motivated, but I'll have a little bit more to prove."

Boyle believes he'll be in a training camp come September.

"I'm very confident I'm going to have a job," he said.

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