Boyle signs one-year, $750,000 contract with Penguins

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Brian Boyle signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old center had been with the Penguins during training camp on a professional tryout (PTO).

He likely will start the season in a bottom-six center role for the Penguins, who will be without their top two centers, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, to start the season.

Crosby had wrist surgery Sept. 8 and will miss at least the first two games of the season, the season opener at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and at the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Malkin was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday. He is expected to miss at least the first two months of the season recovering from June 4 surgery on his right knee.

Boyle did not play in the NHL last season but was the captain for the United States at the 2021 IIHF World Championship. He scored three points (two goals, one assist) in 10 games to help the U.S. finish third. He said during the Smashfest charity ping pong tournament in September that he was “trying to play” in the NHL this season.

“Our guys watched him [at the Worlds] and were really impressed with his game,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said when training camp opened Sept. 23. “I think it was a great indication, with how well he played, that he could contribute and help us here. He’s a guy that brings a certain skill set in areas that we think we can improve and get better in. He brings a lot of size to our team. He’s hard to play against.”

Boyle (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) last played in the NHL with the Florida Panthers in 2019-20, when he scored 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 39 regular-season games and one goal in four Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the No. 26 pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, Boyle has scored 231 points (130 goals, 101 assists) in 805 regular-season games with the Kings, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and Panthers, and 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 118 playoff games.

In 2018 Boyle won the Masterton Trophy, voted as the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He had been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer, during training camp with the Devils in 2017 but returned to play Nov. 1 and scored 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in 69 games.

The Penguins on Tuesday recalled forwards Anthony Angello and Drew O’Connor from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

Pittsburgh opens the regular season at the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

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