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Dan Boyle may never play another NHL game, as the New York Rangers defenseman strongly hinted he’s headed for retirement. But he went out with a bang: Calling out and chasing away New York Post writer Larry Brooks, and to a lesser extent Brett Cyrgalis of the Post, in front of a media scrum on Rangers breakup day.
Sample prose, from that rant: “At least I’m leaving here with the respect of my teammates,” said Boyle. "Instead of [expletive] someone like you, who tries to bury somebody. That's all you do. It's not a critique. I'm telling you I don't want you here. I have no respect for you. I want you to get the [expletive] out.”
Boyle hasn’t said much about the incident, but appeared on SportsTalk NY on WLIE 540 a.m. on Sunday and addressed it at length.
He said it wasn’t the first time he and Brooks tangled. “They were personal, for reasons I don’t need to get into. But it was deserved,” said Boyle.
Boyle said he wasn’t just lashing out for himself, but for his teammates. “That negative stuff gets into the locker room. That’s what pissed me off. That negativity, that constant breaking down of individuals, gets through,” he said. “Not everyone has tough skin. Some guys get affected by that, and it really bothers me.”
Here’s Boyle’s full answer when asked about the locker room incident last week, and whether he regrets that being the lasting image of him as a Ranger:
“I don’t mind speaking about it at all. You’re right. I’ve been doing this for 18 years. I don’t know how many reporters I’ve dealt with. People from the media. I would bet every dollar that I own that I have zero problems with 99.9 percent of them. Some of them I call friends.
“And thank god for unlimited texting, because my phone has blown up in the last few days … and it’s been overwhelmingly positive in my favor.
“To rewind a little bit, of course Larry and Brett – or whatever – and there’s probably one more guy in there … I think over the course of the two years that I’ve been here I’ve never seen such negative covering of the game and negative destruction of individuals. So yes, I was upset about some of the stuff that was said about me, but more importantly, I felt like I needed to be a voice for my teammates.”
“And I can tell you that from teammates to ex-teammates to guys from other teams, that have come through here and have dealt with these individuals, it’s overwhelming how many ‘thank you’s’ I got for what I said and what they didn’t have the courage to say or couldn’t say.
“Now, I regret saying it in front of the rest of the media, because 99.9 percent of everyone there didn’t deserve to hear that coming from me, and probably made them feel uncomfortable, so I do apologize to them.
“But I do not, for one second, take back what I said to Larry and Brett. I do not take that back for one second because the things that they have done and said over the course of the last two years, and the way that they go about what they do, I’m going to disagree with you: Yes, some of the media [have] respect, but there’s plenty, and I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus, but there’s plenty that don’t.
“I heard ‘don’t take it personal.’ OK, well let me say the worst things about you for two years. You’re allowed to say it because you have freedom of speech and freedom of opinion, but if we turn the table for one second, and I voice my opinion for 30 seconds, well I can’t do that.
“So freedom of speech goes both ways.
“I appreciate what you said. I respect most of the media, with a few exceptions. I felt I’ve carried myself the right way for most of my career. This is possibly the last time I was going to deal with the media. I didn’t think I was going to blow up. But I haven’t spoken to Larry all year. For him to come around like this on the last day set me off a little bit. When I asked him to leave, and he refused, it crossed my wires a little bit. I wish I could have done it behind closed doors.
“So I apologize to everyone else that was there, but not to him because I meant every word.”
You can listen to the full interview with Boyle here:
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