The Anaheim Ducks have placed defenceman Nick Boynton on waivers, in a move that caught me a little by surprise. Boynton’s no stranger to the waiver wire, but his play seemed to have improved this season, and unlike in previous years he wasn’t signed at an exorbitant rate ($1.5 million per season).
Statistically, Boynton’s been playing second-pairing competition and been getting sent out more in his own end than the offensive zone. On a defensive corps overflowing with minus players, Boynton’s been plus-1, and his underlying numbers are positive too, as his Corsi rating (essentially shots plus/minus) is the third-best among Ducks defencemen.
On a less substantive note, he also earned kudos from teammate George Parros in the Los Angeles Times last month:
But the real story as of late has been Nick Boynton. Not only did he force Ott into a second fight late in the Dallas game while sticking up for a teammate, but he took on one of the twin towers of the Minnesota Wild, Derek Boogaard. If anyone knows what it’s like to line up next to a 6-foot7 or 6-foot8 (off skates) human punching machine, then you’ll appreciate the job that Boynts did against this man. It’s not easy folks, and Nick handled his own.
Parros crafted a heavyweight belt for Boynton in acknowledgement of his efforts (for the picture, click the link above).
On the negative side, Boynton’s been a penalty magnet, leading the oft-penalized Ducks defence in minor penalties taken with 22. Still, his play as a whole this season has been good enough that I think someone makes a claim.