From the time the Islanders acquired Johnny Boychuk on October 4th, skeptics were raising questions as to if the Islanders would be able to keep the defenseman past this season. Given the Islanders track record, especially recently, most thought the answer to that was a resounding no. Fans weren’t as easily convinced as the skeptics were though.
— Andrew Meyer (@RealAndrewMeyer) October 4, 2014
With Boychuk having bought a house on Long Island and the Islanders resurgence this season, could Garth Snow pull another rabbit out of his hat and prove them wrong?
Man Among Boys
When the Islanders acquired Johnny Boychuk, they may not have known everything about his game, one thing that they did know was that he was a leader. Not just off the ice, but his fearless play on the ice spoke for itself as well. Qualities like that, on top of him owning a Stanley Cup ring made his addition to the Islanders invaluable. Islanders GM Garth Snow deserves credit for pulling the trigger and getting Boychuk to Long Island. Boychuk has been a steadying presence on the blue line like the Islanders haven’t seen in a long time. Additionally, a surprise to his game has been his offensive output, especially his blistering slap shot. Boychuk has already set a career high in points and has over 20 games still to play. As the season winds down and we get into playoff time, Boychuks value will become obvious to anyone that is watching.
A Family Affair
Since being acquired, not only has Boychuk become a hit among fans, his family has as well. Most specifically, his brothers Sam and Dave Boychuk have become favorites of Islander fans due to their huge passion for the team.
Earlier this season Dave was able to attend a couple of games at the Coliseum and experienced first hand why so many of us love “the old barn.”
Cannot wait to rock the Coli tomorrow night! It’s been too long I’m going through withdrawals #Isles
— D.B. (@daboych) December 19, 2014
While the brothers have certainly made their presence felt among fans, they aren’t alone, as of late their parents have become regulars at Islander games. Additionally, they attended Boychuk and Leddys autograph signing at Roosevelt Field mall this past Wednesday night. Like their kids, Mr. and Mrs. Boychuk have become favorites of Islander fans with many fans posing for pictures with them at games. His families affection for the Island and Islander fans should only mean good things as him and the Islanders negotiate a new contract.
Will Boychuk Resign?
That is the million dollar question on everyone’s mind. Ultimately, simply based off my gut feeling and nothing else, I believe he will end up resigning with the Islanders. Watching him game in and game out, I get the feeling that he really likes his role here, and having bought a home he seems to have taken to the area as well. While the Islanders may need to ante up a bit in term, I believe 6 years 36-42 million should get it done, and from I read if it isn’t on the table already it likely will be at some point or another.