Just got off the phone with Brad Boyes, who is in Buffalo and planned to meet with the doctors quickly for a physical and then join the team for its flight to New York. The Toronto-area native is excited to make the move from St. Louis to a Sabres team that is just two points out of a playoff spot.
"Oh, yeah, big-time," Boyes said. "It’s even more so after talking to family and all my friends and stuff. They’re an hour away now. That part’s pretty cool for me, being able to be so close to home. That part aside, I’m looking forward to getting to a team that’s going to be in the playoffs, that plays the way that they do and in city that -- they love their hockey here.
"This is my sixth season, and I’ve been to the playoffs once, which that was a sweep. It was going from junior where we ended up winning it and in the minors we had long runs, and then coming up here you realize how hard it is to make the playoffs, and from there just to go further it’s very tough. This gives me that chance and opportunity to get back in there and do what we can. It’s the best feeling, the best hockey. The best time of year is playoff time, so I can’t wait to get back in there."
The former 43-goal scorer is pleased to join a team that tries to play an up-tempo style.
"It’s definitely a lot more my style than it was in St. Louis," he said. "That’s good. If guys have skill and talent, let them use them. It’s important to let guys do that because that’s the reason they got here in the first place."
Boyes was a teammate with Tim Connolly in juniors and will start out as the center's linemate.
"I just remember him having the greatest set of hands I’ve ever seen at that point," Boyes said. "He was awesome. I came to Erie as a 16-year-old and he was there at 17. He was a guy that took me in right away, took care of me, looked after me. I was kind of wide-eyed after moving away from home and stuff like that. He was just a lot more mature beyond his years at that point, I think, which was something that was good for me, someone that I could look up to.
"Besides that, his hockey skills were something I’ve never seen before. Stuff he was doing at 17 years old, putting pucks through his skates and all this stuff, it was crazy. I remember when we got to play together we had a lot of success, and it was awesome. I’m pumped about this now."
This is the fourth time time Boyes has been traded, and the experiences should help him as he tries to fit in with the Sabres immediately.
"The biggest thing is now that I’m older, a little more mature, I’ve got a little more experience, I’ll come in and know a couple guys," Boyes said. "At the same time, I know I don’t want to be just sitting back and waiting for something to happen and just kind of look around and seem nervous in a new surrounding. Now it’s step to the forefront. I know that I’ve been brought in to help with this playoff push, and that’s what I plan to do starting tomorrow night."