No one called Brian Boyle last fall. No GMs or organizations were willing to put a contract in front of the 6-foot-6 center with a groovy mustache, locker room presence, and a long track record of making his teams better. The phone stayed quiet for a year until the Pittsburgh Penguins called.
The Penguins need a few things that Boyle brings to the party, and Boyle didn’t hesitate.
“…I was training and trying to stay ready, and it was disappointing not getting the call,” Boyle admitted. “I thought I was pretty good (in 2019-20), then I got hurt, but then came back in the bubble, and I thought I was OK; didn’t think I was done.”
But GMs felt differently.
On Day 1 of training camp, Boyle made an impact. And he talked at length about life in the past 12 months without hockey–He got time with kids, his family, and, unfortunately, hockey on TV. While some, including us, may have wondered if Boyle skipped last season because of past health issues (he overcame chronic myeloid leukemia in 2018), that certainly was not the case.
Missing a year was not his choice.