July 3, 2011

Boyle, Yandle among New England natives awaiting new deals

Rangers forward Brian Boyle had a career-high 21 goals in 2010-11. (Getty)

More than half of the contingent of New England natives playing in the NHL became free agents on July 1, but few have found any contractual clarity since the spending spree began on Friday afternoon.

While some quickly relocated to new teams and others left the NHL altogether and headed for Europe, most find themselves awaiting word from their most-recent employers or a call from a potential new one.

Here's the rundown: 

Nick Bonino (Unionville, Conn.) - Received a qualifying offer from the Ducks. Did not collect any points in 26 regular season games. Held off the score-sheet in first four playoff appearances this spring.

Brian Boucher (Woonsocket, R.I.) - Agreed to a two-year deal with the Hurricanes with an annual cap hit of $950,000. Boucher went 18-10-4 with a 2.42 goals-against average for the Flyers last year, following it up with a 4-4-0 record and 3.13 goals-against average in nine postseason games.

Brian Boyle (Hingham, Mass.) - Remains a restricted free agent for the Rangers after his 21-goal, breakout season in 2010-11.

Joe Callahan (Brockton, Mass.) - The Yale alum remains an unrestricted free agent after appearing in 27 games for the Panthers this past season.

Chris Clark (South Windsor, Conn.) - Remains an unrestricted free agent after being told by Blue Jackets he won't be back next year. Clark had 15 points in 53 games for Columbus. He has struggled with injuries since potting 30 goals for the Capitals back in 2006-07.

Chris Drury (Trumbull, Conn.) - Drury has yet to find a new home since being bought out by the Rangers and granted unrestricted free agency.

Benn Ferriero (Essex, Mass.) - Is expected to return to Sharks after receiving a qualifying offer last week. Had nine point and was plus-8 in 33 regular season games.

Mike Grier (Holliston, Mass.) - Veteran winger is an unrestricted free agent. He has stated he'll either return to the Sabres or call it a career.

Paul Mara (Belmont, Mass.) - Won't be brought back by Canadiens after brief return to Montreal this past season. Mara originally signed a one-year deal with the Ducks in the fall of 2010 but was sent to the Habs midway through the season. He finished the year with six points in 53 games for the two clubs.

John McCarthy (Andover, Mass.) - Sharks GM Doug Wilson made it sound as though McCarthy, a restricted free agent, will be back in the fold next year in San Jose. He made 37 appearances at the NHL level last season, picking up two goals and two assists.

Freddy Meyer (Sanbornville, N.H.) - After playing sparingly for the Thrashers -- who relocated to Winnipeg this offseason -- in 2010-11, Meyer decided to leave the NHL, signing a deal with Modo of the Swedish Elite League.

Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) - The Habs winger agreed to a two-year contract in late June after breaking out with 24 points in 37 games in 2010-11.

Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn.) - The speedy winger is going to test the market after posting 11-16-27 totals in 79 games for the Senators. His agent has not ruled out a return to Ottawa.

Noah Welch (Brighton, Mass.) - Much like Meyer, Welch has also left the Winnipeg organization as an unrestricted free agent to join the Swedish Elite League. He'll be suiting up for HV71 next season. The 28-year-old defenseman appeared in two games for the Thrashers last season.

Keith Yandle (Milton, Mass.) - The budding star might be out of the Coyotes' price range. Rumors are abound that Phoenix may be shopping the restricted free agent, who had a career-high 59 points last year -- good for third among defensemen in the NHL.