New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, but he hopes to be ready for the team’s season opener Oct. 7 against the Colorado Avalanche. Team doctor Michael Farber said on a conference call the disease is largely treatable with medication.

Boyle signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Devils this offseason. Bloodwork from the start of training camp showed irregularities from last season, alerting the medical staff.

Fortunately, the 32-year-old Boyle has remained optimistic about his condition as it relates to his life on and off the ice:

Boyle said on a conference call Tuesday that he feels as close to normal as possible, and Farber expects treatment to begin as soon as some further tests come back.

“We have a good plan of attack here, and I’m looking forward to getting on the ice and playing,” Boyle said. “When that happens I don’t know, but my mindset is Oct. 7.”

In 2007, NHL forward Jason Blake was also diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. He continued playing for six more seasons before retiring in 2012. That’s one reason for Boyle to remain optimistic about his hockey career. He also watched his dad defeat a much more aggressive form of cancer years ago. He’s already received an outpouring of support from folks around the league.

While Boyle expects to return for the start of the season, the Devils did not give an official timetable for his return.

[Associated Press]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.