At 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, Brian Boyle is not one of the NHL’s fastest players. Actually, the exact opposite is true.
But he was quick enough as a father.
On New Year’s Day, Boyle welcomed a new son, Callum, into the world. And with just a few more minutes.
“I got there like 11 minutes before he was born,”Boyle said. “It was good timing.”
Boyle, despite being employed by the Penguins has remained in Boston and has flown frequently between home and work this season when his schedule permits.
On Saturday, Boyle’s responsibilities demanded it.
Boyle missed practice Saturday so he ran madly home to meet his son.
“I have this here (smart watch),”Boyle said. “I wear it a lot more just the last month or so. We went in for a meeting down at (PPG Paints Arena). For whatever reason, at the game rink, I think may have been out of range of my phone or something. … I got a text at 10:05 (a.m.) from my wife (Lauren). So right when I got out of the meeting, I ran in and gave her a call. She actually said, ‘Go practice, I don’t know what’s happening!’ My sister … she’s a doctor, she said, ‘I’ll be at your house in 10 minutes and I’ll let you know.’ Like seven minutes later, she calls me, she said, ‘Get out of there now, get a plane as fast as you can.’”
It is important to get your plane home on time fashionThis was far from a guarantee.
“(Director of team operations) Jason Seidling got me on a plane somehow,”Boyle stated. “It was scheduled to leave at like 11:51 (a.m.). It was like 10:40 (a.m.) at the time. He said, ‘I’m driving you.’ I didn’t have a toothbrush, I had nothing. I just went. Luckily for me, the plane was delayed a little bit. He had a car waiting for me right when I got there, brought me to the hospital. I walked into the door. Everything was pretty calm. The doctor saw me come in. She said, ‘All right, we can start now.’ … 3:22 (p.m.) I walked in; 3:33 (p.m.), Callum was born.”
— Brian Boyle (@BriBrows22) January 3, 2022
Boyle missed Sunday’s home game, an 8-5 defeat of the San Jose Sharks, then enjoyed a scheduled day off for the team before leaving his family — including an older son, Declan, and a daughter, Isabella — again and rejoined his teammates for a practice in Cranberry on Tuesday.
That has largely been the routine this season for Boyle. After not playing in 2020-21, he returned to the NHL by attending the Penguins’ training camp this past fall on a professional tryout basis and earning a contract.
A veteran of 14 seasons, the 37-year-old has never won a Stanley Cup title. As he pursues that professional goal, he is mindful of the sacrifices required in his personal life.
“I’m chasing a (Stanley Cup title), it’s no secret,” Boyle said. “I want to be a part of a culture and make a playoff run again. What can I do today to make the most of today? That’s been my approach. It is hard, being away. It’s hard missing my kids, days I won’t get back. But you don’t get a lot of time in the NHL either. They understand that. My (older) son understands that to a point. He misses me. It’s tough to saying good-bye to him because he’s at an age now where he understands more. He’s tuned in every night to our games, whether I’m playing or not. He likes to go over it the next day. It’s pretty special for me that he’s found that love that I have for this game at such a young age. We’ve been able to bond over that.
“There’s different things, there’s different roads. Life will take you different places you don’t know. You’ve got to kind of count your blessings though.”
Notes: The Penguins assigned forward Radim Zohorna to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. … Goaltender Louis Domingue was assigned to the taxi squad. … The Penguins canceled practice on Friday.