This season: 28 games, 4 goals, 1 assist, 36 penalty minutes, 10:08 average ice time.
The good: Once again, Boyle showed just enough potential to make some team followers cringe at the thought of him signing elsewhere and having a successful NHL career. He had a two-goal game against Phoenix on April 4 and played well enough, in the eyes of Terry Murray, to earn second-line center minutes late in the season.
The bad: Once again, Boyle couldn’t stick in the NHL because he couldn’t convince Terry Murray and Dean Lombardi that he would play enough of a physical game to satisfy their desires. Whether you think Boyle is soft, or whether you think he’s being asked to play a role that doesn’t suit his game, it doesn’t really matter. Murray and Lombardi have made clear what they want from Boyle, and so far he hasn’t been able to provide it on a consistent basis. Boyle’s numbers in Manchester (10 goals, 11 assists in 42 games) were not overwhelming either.
Going forward: Boyle is a restricted free agent this summer, so if the Kings offer him a contract, he will be back. The fact that Boyle is still young (24) and has potential, coupled with the fact that the Kings’ system isn’t exactly flush with forwards, probably makes it more likely than not that Boyle will still be in the Kings’ system next season. He would, however, have to show a lot in training camp in order to earn a NHL roster spot.