By Bill Hoppe
BUFFALO — Forward Brad Boyes, who scored 14 goals in 93 total games with the Sabres – five of them in his first 10 appearances – signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the New York Islanders on Sunday after free agency opened.
Boyes made $4 million last season.
The 30-year-old, a 43-goal scorer in 2007-08, never fit well with the Sabres, switching between wing and center after arriving from St. Louis at the 2011 trade deadline. He only tallied eight goals and 23 points last season, becoming a healthy scratch by the end.
In an interview with CBC.ca posted Sunday prior to the signing, Boyes voiced some frustration with Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, saying “I want to play for a coach that I respect a lot and that’ll go a long way in the way that I play.
“That starts by communication with off-ice stuff, saying hi, asking how the family is. Those things go a long way. I’m just looking for a coach that will do that to begin with. Once you get the personal side, then it’s the hockey stuff, with the coach communicating what he likes or doesn’t like about your play.
“I don’t need someone telling me every game, every minute of every shift I’ve done something good or bad, but every once in a while it’s nice to hear some communication either way to know you’re part of the team and feel important.
“I’ll take what I can from last year but I’m looking at next year to really getting back to having fun and playing on a team that wants me there and I want to be a part of.”
Boyes could be the Isles’ replacement for 67-point man PA Parenteau, who’s expected to sign elsewhere.