Veteran winger Brad Boyes is on his way to Florida for training camp, according to CBS Sports Radio’s Andy Strickland.
Boyes, 31, enjoyed something of a career revitalization last year with the Islanders, scoring 35 points in 48 games alongside John Tavares and Matt Moulson.
A former 43-goal scorer, Boyes signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Blues in 2008 and was traded to Buffalo at the 2011 deadline.
He struggled with the Sabres (see here) and took a significant pay cut last July by signing a one-year, $1 million contract with the Isles. Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports Boyes was mulling over attending Islanders camp on a PTO as well.
The move to bring in another veteran — Florida signed Scott Gomez in late July — makes sense for the Panthers, who are in need of veteran presences. Tallon is on record saying the club expects to “go young” next season and rely heavily on its prospects.
Florida has been stockpiling high draft picks ever since 2010, the year Tallon joined the club, and now appears primed to show ‘em off.
In 2010, it was Erik Gudbranson (third overall), Nick Bjugstad (19th) and Quinton Howden (25th).
In 2011, it was this year’s Calder Trophy winner, Jonathan Huberdeau (third overall) and Rocco Grimaldi (33rd overall).
In 2012, it was Mike Matheson (23rd overall) and at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, it was Aleksander Barkov (second overall).
All told, that’s seven top-35 picks, and a few others selected just outside the top 35 (Alex Petrovic, Vincent Trochek) that are ready to challenge for spots as well.
Should he make the team, Boyes will join a veteran leadership group that includes Gomez (33), captain Ed Jovanovski (37 years old) and blueliners Mike Mottau (35) Mike Weaver (34) and Brian Campbell (33).