New Jersey Devils: Brian Boyle’s Remission Is Great News For Everyone

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20: Brian Boyle #11 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with Kyle Palmieri #21, Nico Hischier #13, and Taylor Hall #9 on October 20, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20: Brian Boyle #11 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with Kyle Palmieri #21, Nico Hischier #13, and Taylor Hall #9 on October 20, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Brian Boyle signed as an unrestricted free agent with the New Jersey Devils in summer of 2017. He looked to complete a veteran leadership group for a team made up mostly of youngsters. One faithful day in September changed everything for Boyle, his family, and the Devils locker room as well as the NHL family.

On September 19th, 2017, Brian Boyle wasn’t feeling himself. A blood test revealed the word that nobody wants to ever hear, cancer. He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. The doctors originally told him that it could take up to 18 months to put this thing into remission via treatment. A long 12 months and 33 days later, NHL’s Mike Morreale reports that his cancer is in remission.

This is the greatest news not only fans of the New Jersey Devils, or of the NHL, but humanity in general can possibly get. Even not knowing Brian Boyle personally, it is clear that he is a very nice and kind man, and he cares deeply about his family and his teammates. Seeing him put this thing in remission is absolutely sensational.

There is nothing positive about cancer. It is a thing that happens to people that nobody can explain. It is also important, however, to make the best of every situation, and that is exactly what Boyle and the New Jersey Devils did last season.

The Devils only missed Boyle on the ice for a few weeks last season. When he returned, the team was ready for takeoff. His first goal and celebration at home vs. the Edmonton Oilers is one Devils fans will never forget. Then he added a goal on Hockey Fights Cancer night, which was an all-time feel great moment.

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Hockey is the least important variable to the Brian Boyle story, but the show does go on. When Boyle came back, he was good enough to replaced the injured Taylor Hall to represent the Devils at NHL All-Star weekend. He scored big goals for the team, and they all seemed to rally around him and created a brotherhood.

The team returned to the postseason for the first time in five years, and there were a lot of contributing factors, but rallying around Boyle was one of the biggest. Nobody will ever forget what Boyle did to defend his teammates in the playoffs and his scuffle with the Tampa Bay Lightning is an image that will live in Devils fan’s minds forever.

He concluded the season by winning the NHL’s Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He definitely deserved it.

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Boyle is off to another great start this season. He is the heartbeat of the Devils bottom six group, and he has three goals in the first six games. It is incredible to see Boyle in a Devils jersey healthy, and with this battle in remission. In just his second season with the team, his is already one of the biggest fan favorites we have seen. We are pulling for his health and happiness and hope this is behind him for good.