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Boyle Ready to Be Difference Maker, Accomplish Goals with Preds

Nashville's Newest Forward Addresses Trade from New Jersey, Excited for New Role with Predators

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

Brian Boyle on Joining Preds

Brian Boyle talks excitement to join Preds

Preds forward Brian Boyle discusses the trade from New Jersey and what he can bring to his new club

  • 13:59 •

With 24 hours to take care of a lengthy to-do list before his move to Nashville, Brian Boyle has his priorities in check.

"I already put my phone charger on the table so I don't forget that," Boyle laughed via phone from New Jersey as he began the packing process. "I'll need it in the next hour for sure."

There will likely be plenty more calls for the 34-year-old to take over the next few days as he begins the transition to Music City after being acquired by the Predators on Wednesday morning from the Devils in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

A veteran of more than 700 NHL games - and 111 more in the Stanley Cup Playoffs - Boyle will now leave the northeast behind as he joins his new club for the stretch run, and he can't wait to get started.

"Aside from the stress of just making sure I can pack everything, I'm really excited to be a part of this Nashville team," Boyle said. "After being a fan of the game and being able to see what they have been able to do and how they're built, and then speaking with [Predators General Manager] David [Poile] and [Head Coach] Peter [Laviolette], it's really exciting."

Video: Brian Boyle talks excitement to join Preds

A highly-coveted player by Nashville's front office, Boyle is not only one of the best defensive forwards in the game today, but also one of the most respected around the NHL.

Diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, Boyle still scored 13 goals and 23 points in 69 games while undergoing treatment. He was awarded with the 2018 Bill Masterton Trophy thanks to his perseverance and dedication to hockey as a result, and he has become a face for the League's Hockey Fights Cancer initiatives over the past two years.

Add that inspiration to his on-ice abilities and his off-ice leadership skills, and Boyle is rather likely to be an integral piece for the Predators as they prepare for the postseason.

"The games seem to be worth more this time of the year, and that's something that I can get excited about," Boyle said. "I'm really looking forward to that. I've been through some long playoff runs and I've learned some lessons from those times. I've been through some series in the playoffs where we have been down and come back and I believe that experience will help the team as well."

Video: GM Poile explains acquisition of Boyle, McLeod

One of the biggest players in the game at 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, Boyle is incredibly versatile, able to play every forward position and in just about every situation that the game could entail. It's one of the main reasons the Preds set out to acquire the Hingham, Massachusetts, native, and Boyle is anxious to see where he'll fit into the lineup.

"I've played quite a bit on the power play this year, and I've played on the penalty kill basically my whole career," Boyle said. "If I can fill in and just be a part of what they're trying to do, then that's what I'm going to do… I mainly just want to be a difference-maker. I want to be able to complement what they have right now and continue that."

Boyle has been parked in front of the net with the man advantage on numerous occasions this season for the Devils and says that's also a role he welcomes. Six of his 13 goals this season have come on the power play, some help that the Predators could certainly use.

"I love to get in front of the net and make plays," Boyle said. "It's just getting those opportunities are where it counts. I think I try to get open and get deflections, but also creating space for guys so that they can create space as well. Shot volume is usually a great recipe for power play success."

While Boyle admitted the move from New Jersey will be bittersweet after everything he and his family have been through, the promise of the next chapter is incredibly enticing. He expects to arrive to Nashville late Wednesday night, and if all goes well, slip on a Predators jersey for the first time on Thursday at Bridgestone Arena.

And as is the case with most players, he'll be happy to be on the home side this time around.

"I really am excited to get to Nashville and play in front of those fans," Boyle said. "It's always a blast getting to play in that building. I think the team's goals match up with mine, and it's just a great opportunity that I am really thankful for."

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