Acquired early June for a conditional fifth-round pick (which becomes a fourth if he signs), Boyle was thought to be the possible answer on defense for a team that gave up 30 shots per game and the third-most goals this past season (261).
Seeing as general manager Garth Snow had successfully pulled off a similar coup, acquiring Jaroslav Halak from the Washington Capitals last month and then signing him to shore up his goaltending, doing the same with Boyle wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility—except for the shoring-up-his-defense part. Boyle turns 38 in July after all.
For that very same reason, he is probably destined to test free agency as well. Boyle just doesn’t have many more chances to win another championship. He would logically like to go to a team with more of a realistic shot at the Stanley Cup (getting out of San Jose must have been the first part of his master plan).
Assuming Boyle ultimately chooses to pursue free agency—and seeing as the Islanders by all accounts can use another defenseman—here are five alternatives for Snow to target come July 1.