Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
From The Press Box

From The Press Box is a weekly column written by and writer Alain Poupart. Poupart has been covering the Panthers and the NHL for 20 years.

Have a question for Alain? Be sure to ask him through twitter @apoupartFins.

Veteran Playmaker

Brad Boyes has proven to be a steal for the Panthers thanks to his impressive offensive skills

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 1:00 PM / From The Press Box
By Alain Poupart  -
Share with your Friends

Veteran Playmaker
Brad Boyes has proven to be a steal for the Panthers thanks to his impressive offensive skills

It’s the kids who have attracted most of the attention when it comes to the Panthers forwards this season. It’s understandable because, as the song says, the kids are all right.

But let’s not overlook or underestimate the contributions of veteran Brad Boyes, who has become one of the many steals — Tim Thomas and Tom Gilbert also come to mind — for the Panthers this season.

Remember, this was a proven commodity without a contract as late as mid-September in camp with the Panthers on a professional tryout. Boyes not only performed well enough in camp to earn a contract, he’s gone on to become one of the team’s top offensive performers all season.

Boyes leads the Panthers with 12 goals and he’s part of what has become one of the top lines in the NHL with rookie sensation Aleksander Barkov and veteran Sean Bergenheim.

And then, of course, there’s Boyes’ fantastic production in the shootout, where he’s 6-for-9 this season. Boyes’ six shootout goals are tied with Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd and Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom for second-most in the league behind the seven scored by Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks, who will visit the BB&T Center Thursday night.

No one should be surprised by Boyes’ success in the shootout. After all, he is the NHL’s all-time leader with 37 shootout goals and his career percentage of 46.8 is the second-best among all those with at least 23 shootout goals, topped only by the 53.8 mark of Frans Nielsen of the New York Islanders.

Truth is, what Boyes has done offensively all season isn’t really surprising. That’s his game. He’s not the fastest skater in the league, isn’t known as the greatest two-way player, but he’s got great offensive instincts, finds himself in the right place more often than not, can pass and can put the puck in the net.

SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 4: Brad Boyes #24 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his goal with teammates against the Nashville Predators at the BB&T Center on January 4, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Let’s face it, there’s a reason Boyes is playing on the top line, just like there was a reason he was skating with superstar John Tavares when he was a member of the Islanders last season.

“He’s a really smart player,” Tavares said after the Islanders’ morning skate Tuesday. “He always seems to be around the puck, around the net and has got a nose for being in the right place and making some really good plays. He found me a lot last year, so I’m happy to see he’s doing well down here and having some success.”

Tavares added that he was surprised that no team saw fit to sign Boyes until just before the start of the 2013-14 regular season, although the salary cap no doubt played a role in that.

“I thought for sure, whether he was back with us or with any other team, that he would get another opportunity for what he proved last year,” Tavares said. “I’m just happy to see him get that chance and show he’s still a very effective player and can still produce.”

Boyes wasted little chance to produce against his former team Tuesday night, and Tavares just happened to be on the ice to see it first-hand.

After grabbing a loose puck in the neutral zone, Boyes came in on a 2-on-1 with Barkov, and what they produced was pure magic. If you haven’t seen the highlight yet, make it a point to check it out.

It was Boyes on the left side passing to Barkov on the right. Back to Boyes. Back to Barkov, who one-timed it into a wide open net for a Panthers lead just 32 seconds into the game.

Veteran Scottie Upshall was asked the last time he had seen that kind of passing play on a 2-on-1.

“Not since Lemieux and Gretzky were in the league,” Upshall replied. “But these guys, it’s vision, it’s just finishing the play. Those two guys, you look at the chemistry they’ve been building here lately, that line, they’ve got some good things going.”

For his part, Nick Bjugstad called the goal “pretty cool.” He then added this about Barkov and Boyes: “They can move the puck, I can tell you that.”

Indeed, the 18-year-old Barkov and the 31-year-old Boyes look like they’ve been playing together for years. It’s been a great pairing, to be sure.

By now, it’s clear the Panthers made a good choice by selecting Barkov second overall in the 2013 NHL draft. It’s also evident signing Boyes in September was another great move.




1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


N. Bjugstad 65 22 17 -8 39
J. Huberdeau 62 10 28 2 38
J. Jokinen 64 6 29 0 35
A. Ekblad 65 11 23 7 34
B. Boyes 63 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 60 12 19 -10 31
J. Hayes 56 17 12 -5 29
B. Campbell 65 3 20 1 23
A. Barkov 54 10 12 -7 22
D. Kulikov 56 3 15 -5 18
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .921 2.37
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.