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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres
Although he has yet to skate with his new team, newly-acquired Brad Boyes was the hot topic following Monday’s practice at the Northtown Center at Amherst.  The Sabres obtained Boyes late Sunday night from St. Louis in exchange for a second round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft.

Brad Boyes
The 28-year-old forward has recorded 41 points on 12 goals and 29 assists in 62 games with the Blues this season and is expected to help Buffalo’s offensive attack.

“For us to be able to add someone that is going to contribute offensively, where he’s situated now probably more on the assist side than the goal side, but he’s certainly capable of scoring goals, it’s important and it’s an important message to send to the players as well,” said General Manager Darcy Regier.  “He’s creative and can add to the top nine forwards and give us more of a scoring threat.”

Boyes spent Monday traveling to Buffalo and told the NHL Network’s NHL Live that he was looking forward to playing in Head Coach Lindy Ruff’s system.

“It’s an offensive game, defensemen are involved and they pinch in the offensive zone and guys look to make plays and that’s something I’m really excited about,” Boyes said regarding Buffalo’s style of play.

Video Highlights: Brad Boyes    

Ruff said that he planned to use Boyes on the wing as opposed to the center position, which he has played at times in the past.

“We’re getting a good player,” said Ruff.  “A couple of years ago he scored a lot of goals.  He’s been more on the playmaking side, but we really feel we got a guy that can help one of our power play units and he’s a good two-way player that offensively should help us, make us stronger through those top nine (forwards).

“I think he’s great at getting pucks to the net, he’s got a niftyness down by the top of the circles, he creates his own chances at times,” Ruff said before adding that he would likely match Boyes on a line with center Tim Connolly. 

Boyes and Connolly were teammates with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League back in the 1998-99 season.

“He’s a great guy, great teammate, heck of a hockey player, and I think he’s a great addition to the team,” said Connolly.  “He’s got a great release with his snap shot and his slap shot.  He’s a real smart player and it will be my job, if I’m playing with him, to try and get him the puck in scoring areas.”
Brad Boyes (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Steve Montador also played with Boyes in Erie and said Boyes was a smart hockey player.

“He knows where to find the holes, is able to get the puck to the net, he has a good shot and good speed.  All in all, he’s a pretty solid player and a good guy as well,” Montador said.

Boyes scored a career-high 43 goals during the 2007-08 campaign, then followed that up with a career-high 72 points (33-39-72) in 2008-09.  One of the hallmarks of Boyes’ career has been his durability.  In each of his five full NHL season, he appeared in all 82 games.  In the one season where he did not, he missed just one game.

In 472 career NHL games with San Jose, Boston and St. Louis, Boyes has registered 335 points on 145 goals and 190 assists.  He was originally selected by Toronto in the first round (24th overall) of the 2000 Entry Draft.

Quiet Deadline Day: The NHL Trade Deadline passed at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, and Regier noted that there was much less activity leading up to the deadline this year as opposed to recent years.

“It was considerably quieter this year than in the past,” he said.  “All you have to do is look at the standings in both conferences and know that there were very few sellers and lots of buyers and prices were probably a little higher than normal.”

Leopold misses practice: Defenseman Jordan Leopold was the only Sabre not on the practice ice Monday.  Leopold missed Saturday’s game against Detroit with an upper body injury, and Ruff said the defenseman, who has tied his career-highs in goals (11) and points (33) this season, was being further evaluated.  Ruff added that Leopold would be joining the Sabres as they left for their seven-game road trip Monday but did not put a timetable on his return to the lineup.
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