Sansided
Editorials

New York Islanders Five Questions For Five Players

TUGGERAH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 08: Close up of the microphones and desk before the press conference on August 8, 2018 in Tuggerah, Australia. The Central Coast Mariners confirmed that 100-metre world record holder Usain Bolt has committed to an indefinite training period with the club, with the aim to develop the 'world's fasted man' into a professional footballer. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
TUGGERAH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 08: Close up of the microphones and desk before the press conference on August 8, 2018 in Tuggerah, Australia. The Central Coast Mariners confirmed that 100-metre world record holder Usain Bolt has committed to an indefinite training period with the club, with the aim to develop the 'world's fasted man' into a professional footballer. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
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new york islanders
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 16: Johnny Boychuk #55 of the New York Islanders looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Kings on December 16, 2017 at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Johnny Boychuk

Question: “Are 20-minute games night-in night-out too much?”

Johnny Boychuk plays a tough physical style of hockey. He isn’t going to rush up the ice with the puck. He isn’t going to score Norris levels of points. What he will give you is solid positional play in his own end with an uncompromisingly tough style.

Boychuk’s tough physical style takes a toll though. In his ten year NHL career, he has yet to play a full 82 game season. His highest return was in 2011-12 when he played 77 games.

So far this season Johnny Boyhuck hasn’t missed a game. He’s played in all 30 games for the Islanders and has even moved up from a third pairing role to slot next to Nick Leddy on the Isles top defensive pair.

But with that new assignment has come more minutes. At the start of November, Boychuk was playing around 15 minutes a night. In the Isles most recent game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Johnny Boychuk played over 22 minutes.

More minutes means greater wear and tear. And that leads to an increased chance of injury.

Why It’s an Important Question

Johnny Boychuk takes up $6 million of the Islanders cap for the next four seasons. That’s a large portion of their payroll to pay for a player can’t make it through a full NHL season. And that player is only getting older.

Boychuk is already 34-years-old (he turns 35 on January 19th). The propensity for injury grows exponentially every season. The Islanders need him to be healthy. If playing 20-minute games is taking a physical toll and reducing his ability to stay on the ice, the Isles need to manage his minutes.

Less should be more for Johnny Boychuk.

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