Brad Boyes has the talent. It’s not luck when a player scores 76 goals in two seasons. The forward just has to rediscover how to use it that often.
He’ll be getting the chance in Buffalo.
The Sabres acquired Boyes from St. Louis late Sunday night, sending the Blues a second-round pick in the June draft. The 28-year-old right winger is in sixth season and has one year left on his contract, which has a cap hit of $4 million and a salary of $4.5 million this year and $4 million next year.
"For us, he’s someone that if he can slide into our forward group and contribute offensively, then that’s what we’re looking for," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said by phone. "He was one of a few players that we’ve talked about. We were looking for someone that could contribute for the balance of this season and a minimum next season, and given the marketplace at the deadline, he was one of the guys we were looking at."
Boyes was a scoring machine from 2007 to 2009 with the Blues. He led St. Louis with 43 goals in 2007-08 and was tied with Paul Kariya for the team lead with 65 points. The following season, Boyes led the Blues in goals (33) and points, with a career-high 72.
He dipped to 14 goals and 42 points last season, and he was tied for third on the Blues this year with 41 points (12 goals, 29 assists) in 61 games.
"It’s not just the goals," Regier said. "I certainly think the goals were there and they’ve dropped off, but it’s also his ability to make plays, his ability to play in and around the net. He’s got very good hands. He sees the ice well, can make plays, and I think that’s probably the shift you see in him statistically this year is probably gone from more goals on one end to setting the goals up on the other side.
"We’ll be happy to take whether he’s scoring the goals or contributing on the offense of someone else scoring the goals. Either one works fine."
Regier entered the weekend saying the Sabres would look to be buyers heading toward today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, and acquiring a proven talent without giving someone up off the roster proves that early.
"If we were sellers we could have accumulated some draft picks, but that’s not the objective," Regier said. "The objective is try and help the team down the stretch this year for this playoff run, and then again beyond that."