Even cancer can’t stop Brian Boyle’s fighting spirit

The news came down this afternoon about Brian Boyle. A well respected player who made his mark with the Rangers helping them reach their only Stanley Cup Final since 1994, the affable 32-year old center who is set to begin a new journey with the crosstown rival Devils revealed today that he’s been diagnosed with CML (Chronic myeloid leukemia) A type of cancer of the bone marrow.

Even the news that he has leukemia doesn’t faze him. The good news is it was caught early and is extremely treatable. In fact, Boyle plans on being ready for the Devils season opener at home against the Avalanche on Saturday afternoon, October 7.

Of course, Boyle would handle such tough news with the same kind of positive attitude he’s taken with him to the rink. That no nonsense approach turned his career around in New York where he became a key checking forward on some good Rangers teams. Eventually, he would spend nearly three years with the Lightning helping them defeat his former team to advance to another Stanley Cup Final. After helping the young Maple Leafs reach the postseason, he signed with the Devils this summer for two years where he’ll be looked upon to help another rebuilding club led by top overall pick Nico Hischier.

That’s what makes Boyle special. It’s why he has overwhelming support from everyone. There have been plenty of well wishes from his peers, media and fans. He’s the kind of player you root for. You know he’ll beat cancer and deliver on his promise to play for his new team.

As a huge fan who always appreciated the hard nosed warrior approach he brought, particularly in the playoffs, I send my best wishes and thoughts to Brian Boyle. Speedy recovery. 🏒⭐️👍

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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3 Responses to Even cancer can’t stop Brian Boyle’s fighting spirit

  1. hasan4978 says:

    The Rosen quote basically captured how I feel. I’m looking forward to giving this guy an ovation in two plus weeks. It was also good to hear Jason Blake played like six seasons after being diagnosed with the same thing. Boyle’s gonna be one of the rare players popular on both sides of the river – Jagr’s the only other one I can think of offhand.


    • Derek Felix says:

      Boyle is the kind of high character character you love if he’s on your side. He does all the intangible things that help you win. He can help those young kids a lot. He’s a fighter. I hope he comes back stronger than ever. The last two ex-Rangers to play for the Devils are two of my favorites.

      Other Devils/Rangers off the top of my head:

      Bruce Driver
      Bobby Holik
      Valeri Kamensky
      John MacLean


  2. hasan4978 says:

    Yes they all played for the Devils/Rangers but Driver, Holik and MacLean aren’t all that popular with Ranger fans and Kamensky washed out here. One guy who did do well in both spots is Nemchinov.


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