Boyes loves being a Bruin

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

Brad Boyes spent the summer in Toronto, nestled in a Harbourfront condo he shares with his brother and working out at Gary Roberts' downtown gym.

Boyes did so with a single frame of mind -- to crack the roster of one of the Maple Leafs' divisional rivals, the Boston Bruins.

"I'm on the other side now and the goal is to come into Toronto (during the regular season) and take two points," Boyes said. "The asterisk is with Toronto because I know a lot of the guys. I think I'm ready to skate with the guys here (in Boston)."

Boyes is pencilled into the Bruins lineup for tonight's pre-season game at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton against the Leafs, and if there's an extra spring in Boyes' step, it's with good reason. No longer is the Maple Leafs first-round pick in 2000 simply hoping he gets an NHL shot. Boyes last month re-signed with the Bruins for one year and $600,000 US, but most importantly, it is a one-way deal.

"They were really pretty good about it," said Boyes, a natural centre who can play the wing as well. "The main thing is to play in the NHL, but when you realize the team has that kind of confidence in you, it makes me feel good."

For Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell, a one-way pact for the Mississauga native was a no-brainer.

"He has done everything he can at the AHL level and it's up to him to see how far he can take his NHL career," he said. "He scored some huge goals for us in Providence (their AHL affiliate) last year. He makes plays that a lot of other people can't."

Boyes was traded from the Leafs in March 2003 to the San Jose Sharks in the ill-fated Owen Nolan swap. The Bruins acquired him from the Sharks in March 2004. Boyes played well in Providence last season, finishing 11th in league scoring with 75 points.

Boyes is long past wondering what could have been had he remained in Toronto.

"When I was traded by the Leafs it was disappointing, and then it didn't really work out with San Jose," he said. "I was drafted by the Leafs and grew up there, but definitely now my heart is in Boston."


Photos