Rangers lose key pair; sign Dan Boyle, Chris Borque

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – After losing two key players to free agency, the New York Rangers have signed veteran defenseman Dan Boyle and forward Chris Borque to fill up the void.

Dan Boyle will replace Anton Stralman, who signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday together with center Brian Boyle.

“Dan (Boyle) is going to bring experience, and help us on the power play,” said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. “We’re really happy to have him come on board”

Dan Boyle, who scored 12 goals and totaled 36 points in 75 games this past season as a member of the San Jose Sharks, has 954 games of National Hockey League experience despite the fact that he went undrafted out of the University of Miami-Ohio.

In his career, Boyle has scored 144 goals and notched 561 points, including a career-high 20 goals and 63 points with the Lightning in 2006-07.

In 15 NHL seasons with the Florida Panthers, Lightning and Sharks, Dan Boyle has recorded 50 or more points on six different occasions.

Boyle also has extensive experience in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which includes winning a ring with the Lightning in 2004. That spring he had ten points in 23 post-season matches; and in his career Boyle 70 points in 107 playoff games.

Drafted by the Washington Capitals in the second round (No. 33) of the 2004 NHL Draft, Borque split last season between Kazan Ak-Bars of the Kontinental Hockey League and EHC Biel of National League A in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, the Lightning signed Stralman and center Brian Boyle each to a multiyear contract. They also signed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year contract.

Stralman and Boyle played significant roles for the 2014 Eastern Conference champion Rangers. Stralman signed a five-year contract; Boyle got a three-year deal.

The Lightning did not disclose financial terms, but multiple media reports placed the total value of Stralman’s contract at $22.5 million, an average annual value of $4.5 million. Boyle’s contract has an AAV of $2 million.

The 29-year-old Brian Boyle had six goals and 18 points in 82 regular-season games for the Rangers. He scored three goals and had eight points in 25 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was the Rangers’ best center on faceoffs during the Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

Stralman, 27, was one of the most consistent players for the Rangers during the playoffs and played well against the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. He had one goal and 13 points in 81 regular-season games last season but is a strong possession player and was considered one of the top free agents available by those who monitor advanced statistics.

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