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Brian Boyle is the type of depth player the Florida Panthers need right now

The monster center comes to Florida on a one-year deal for a reasonable price, but the payoff could be big. Boyle has the post-season experience the Panthers crave, plus he can fill in a lot of details in the lineup.

The Florida Panthers had a big summer that addressed several important needs: Sergei Bobrovsky was the marquee addition in net, Anton Stralman brought experience on the blueline and a couple of guys with sandpaper (Noel Acciari) and experience (Brett Connolly) joined the bottom-six forwards.

But GM Dale Tallon didn’t stop working once the season began and because of that, the Panthers have a new addition in towering center Brian Boyle. The veteran comes in during the twilight of his career, but with a very impressive resume that suggests a perfect fit in Florida.

For years now, the Panthers have been searching for success. Making the playoffs has been a chore and even when Florida did make it in, they found no success. In 2016, they were beaten by a New York Islanders team that essentially chose the Panthers as an opponent. The only season Florida actually won a series was back in 1996 when the ‘Rat Trick’ Panthers went all the way to the Stanley Cup final.

Boyle first played in the NHL post-season in 2011 as a member of the New York Rangers and since then, he has won more playoff series in his career than the Panthers have as a franchise – and it isn’t even close. Boyle made the Cup final with the Rangers in 2014 and the Lightning one year later. Tally up all his experience and he has 11 playoff series wins to Florida’s three. Which is a backhanded way of saying he’s perfect for the Panthers right now. Boyle comes in on a one-year contract worth $940,000, so the risk is minimal. For a team that has struggled defensively through the first few weeks of the season, Boyle can help staunch the bleeding with his 6-foot-6, 245-pound frame and reach. While Florida’s penalty-killing has been very good in the early goings (clicking at 86.4 percent, good for seventh in the league), bringing in Boyle will only solidify that unit further.

Overall, Florida is in a decent place so far. True, the Panthers are not technically in a playoff spot, but there have been so few games played that it’s really only important that they’re in the mix. Keep in mind, one of the things that has doomed the Cats in previous campaigns is bad starts; at least they’re so-so in 2019-20.

I like the Boyle signing because it has nothing to do with right now and more to do with where the Panthers want to be in five months: in the thick of a playoff race. Actually, scratch that: not just the thick of a race, but actually in the playoffs. While Boyle hasn’t won a playoff series in a couple of years, his services have been in high demand, landing him in Toronto, New Jersey and Nashville for post-season adventures.

On paper, Florida has the talent to be a playoff team thanks to names like Bobrovsky, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle, but it won’t be easy in the Atlantic Division. On top of his on-ice talents, Boyle is widely known to be a great guy in the room and for a group that doesn’t have much crunch-time experience – even Bobrovsky was relatively new to playoff hockey before last season – the big veteran pivot can be a calming presence.

Tallon knows how to build a winner and he has a coach in Joel Quenneville who knows how to win titles. Boyle may not have won a championship yet, but he’s been close a couple times and knows what it takes to go deep. That’s what the Panthers need and having Boyle around for the whole season instead of just the last 20 games could be the tonic they need.

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