Brian Boyle was a former Devil. Where is he now?

On Nov. 28, 2021 the New Jersey Devils will host Hockey Fights Cancer Night. They face off against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was then that I realized there was only one former Devils player that I wanted to show off this week. That is Brian Boyle. Although he was only a Devil for 116 of his games, he left an indelible impression.

Boyle’s Journey to New Jersey

Boyle was a New York Rangers player for five seasons. This made him well-known among Devils fans. He signed with the After making a brief appearance for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning player made his debut before signing with New Jersey as a free agent.

“At the end of the day, [the Devils] told me I was needed, which is a great thing,” Boyle stated at the time of signing. “I think they have some great pieces and I’m very close with (former Boston College teammate and Devils goalie) Cory Schneider, who is a huge difference-maker. All I know is that every time I played against New Jersey, no matter where we were, they’re a difficult team to play against. It’s a team that works and if you have everyone working, that’s a good sign for a player like myself. That’s something that benefits me.”

Unexpected Results During Devils’ Training Camp

The 6-foot-6 forward was eager to return to the east coast to report to his first training camp for the Devils. Boyle’s family was not prepared for what happened next. In September 2017, Boyle was informed that his bloodwork had revealed that he had chronic meeloid leukemia (CML), a rare bone marrow cancer.

Brian Boyle #11, New Jersey Devils – January 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

During an appearance on the “Ice with Ida & Julie” podcast, Boyle’s wife Lauren recalls the moment the family realized something was wrong. He called Lauren and told her that his lab results were strange and that he would be late to dinner. Lauren and Boyle assumed it was Lyme disease as Lauren was very tired prior to arriving in New Jersey. Because Boyle’s white blood cells were over 100 thousand, it was impossible that it could be Lyme disease.

His family had to wait for three days before it became clear that he had leukemia. Boyle began treatment immediately by taking two doses of medication twice daily and by changing his diet to reduce sugar intake and red meat consumption. He was able to fight his way back onto the ice, missing only 10 games.

Fighting through and announcing Remission

Boyle made his season debut in the Devils’ 2-0 win over the Canucks on November 1, 2017. Boyle scored his first goal since his diagnosis on Nov. 9, 2017 in front of 16,514 people at Prudential Center. It was an emotionally charged moment for all at the arena, Newark, New Jersey.

Brian Boyle confesses that he was emotional after scoring his first goal following his recovery from chronic myeloidleukemia. It was quite special.

“I’ve never cried after a goal before,” Boyle said during the intermission interview. “That was, it’s a lot. It’s everything… These guys, my wife, my kids, they’ve been through a lot too. My siblings, my parents. It’s a good feeling. Let’s hope we stand up and make it count tonight.”

Boyle was selected as one of three finalist in the Bill Masterson trophy, along with Roberto Luongo (and Jordan Staal) at the end 2017-18 season. It was Boyle who was called to the stage at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas to accept the award for being the player who best exemplified the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

The Boyle family had a great season the next season. The Devils’ forward announced in October of 2018 that his cancer was in remission. A month later the NHL announced Lauren Boyle would become Hockey Fights Cancer ambassador after her family’s experience.

“I just pray, that I can help anyone if they need it, whether it be advice or what got us through day to day from little things like how we changed Brian’s diet to praying or just how we spent our time,” Lauren Boyle said at the time. “I would like to also raise money for research. It’s incredible what they can do with the right time and money.” (from ‘Lauren Boyle becomes Hockey Fights Cancer ambassador’, USA Today 11/01/18)

On their annual Hockey Fights Cancer night, the Devils took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boyle scored three goals to earn his first career hat-trick, helping his team win 5-1 against their division rivals. The scene at PPG Paints Arena was like something out of a book. For a family that came to New Jersey, the first two months of 2018-19 were very special. They were confronted with terrifying and unexpected medical uncertainty.

Moving on and continuing his career

On Feb. 6, 2019, the veteran was traded by the Devils to the Predators for 2nd round draft pick in the 2019 draft. He ended his memorable stay in New Jersey with 42 point (26G,16A). Boyle was a part of 26 games in Nashville. He helped the team to the playoffs by appearing in three games and earning two assists.

On Oct. 21, 2019, the then-35-year-old signed an one-year contract with Florida Panthers. He was a part of 39 games and scored 15 goals. Boyle played in four more games of the Stanley Cup playoffs before his team was eliminated. Although he did not participate in the 2020-21 season, he was offered a professional tryout by the Pittsburgh Penguins on September 3, 2021. He signed a one year contract with the Penguins at 37 years old. On the same day he signed the contract, Boyle appeared in a Pittsburgh match against Tampa Bay. In another storybook moment, Boyle scored in his Penguins’ debut, an eventual 6-2 win for the Penguins. He has currently scored two goals in 14 games.

Related: Former Devil Adam Larsson – Where is He Now

Much like Adam Larsson’s NHL journey, I feel like Boyle’s story is one that needs to be told. For Boyle, his family, and Devils fans, New Jersey was a memorable place. He was a native of Massachusetts and quickly became a fan favorite. You can still find his jersey on the streets around Prudential Centre. If you’re looking Hockey Fights CancerYou can shop for Devils HFC gear and purchase mystery pucks on Sunday night as the Devils face off against the Flyers.