Rolling Boyle: With deal still unsigned, Islanders look to re-gift UFA defenseman

The future is wide open - Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Snow shopping Boyle, Nabokov looks to be gone.

In his Rumblings blog on Wednesday, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that Islanders GM Garth Snow has "talked to a couple of teams" regarding the rights to defenseman Dan Boyle, who will be an unrestricted free agent if he isn't signed to a contract before July 1.

Boyle was acquired from San Jose for a 2015 fifth round pick on June 5th in a Classic Garth™ maneuver, using a low draft pick to gain an exclusive negotiating window with a player before the other (more talented, richer and better looking) teams get to offer what they've got. The ink was barely dry on a contract for Jaroslav Halak, picked up from the Capitals for a 4th rounder, when Snow tried to strike gold again with Boyle.

Right now, it seems the mine is tapped out.

While the "pft, told you so's" are still echoing, and probably will until the whole situation is settled, LeBrun's post paints a much rosier picture of the negotiations than you'd expect.

The Islanders made their best pitch to Boyle and give him plenty to think about. 

"Garth's done a great job, he's kept us abreast of everything along the way, we understand he's got to protect his interests," Boyle's agent, George Bazos, told ESPN.com. "That being said, we haven't closed the door on talking to them. The Islanders gave Dan a lot to think about."

Update: TSN's Darren Dreger chimes in with a little more on the talks between Boyle and the Islanders specifically regarding term.

Signing Boyle never a given, with the defenseman stating that he wanted a two-year deal that the Sharks were unwilling to give, and wanting to play for a contender which the Islanders, generously, are not. Adding a veteran powerplay guy who can still hold his own would be a boon to a club with a lot of young defenders, but Boyle doesn't exactly push the Islanders safely into "contender" status.

By everyone's admission, something could still be worked out and Boyle could stay. Or maybe Snow cashes in Boyle for another scratch-off lottery ticket.

Either way, July 1 is coming up pretty quickly.

Speaking of UFA release day, LeBrun's other bit of Islanders news involves yet another former San Jose Selachimorpha. Snow says that the Islanders were unable to come to terms with goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, and it "it looks like he's headed to July 1." Snow had hoped to bring back the former starter as a back-up to Halak.

That could put an end to a short, bizarre, frustrating and exciting era in Islanders goaltending history. The reluctant KHL refugee was captured by the Islanders, fought for his freedom, eventually caved, had some spectacular performances, a lot of spectacularly bad performances, lead the team to the playoffs, carved out a new home on Long Island and made a ton of TV gold with Stan Fischler.

If this is the end, I say dasvidaniya, Evgeni Nabokov. But the bus is leaving without you.

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