Having success getting Jaroslav Halak's name on the dotted line before free agency opens, Garth Snow is trying it again: The New York Islanders GM acquired the rights to unrestricted free agent defenseman Dan Boyle in exchange for a 5th-round pick in 2015. The pick becomes a 4th-round pick if the Islanders can convince Boyle to sign.
Boyle, 37 (38 in July), is in decline but still provides value as an offensive defenseman. One question, in the grand hindsight of things, may be: What can Boyle provide (and sign for) that Mark Streit could not? The Islanders parted with Streit in the 2013 offseason in an inverse deal to this one: The trade of a mid-round pick for the chance to coax a guy to sign.
Boyle's role was diminishing with the Sharks, and San Jose GM Doug Wilson had already decided to part with him after the Sharks crashed out of the playoff in blowing a 3-0 series lead to the Los Angeles Kings.
[Updated] Coming off a $6.67 million cap hit, Boyle was seeking a two-year deal from San Jose, who only offered one:
Boyle told CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz that he wished to come back to the team. However, after the team offered Boyle a one-year deal when the veteran defenseman wanted two, contract talks never progressed. This was something Boyle saw coming, but it was still a tough pill to swallow.
More from Kurz:
“Even though I was kind of expecting it a little bit, yeah, it was devastating,” Boyle said on Friday. "I was clear that I wanted to be back here and I loved it here. It can still be pretty tough news to take, but when you lose like we did, you figure that changes are going to be made. Part of me thought this could happen.
“It’s definitely tough, but it’s exciting at the same time. It’s a confusing time, but it is what it is. It’s a business, and at the end of the day, things happen.
“I’m obviously crushed and hurt with what’s happened, but I’m a competitor. I want to win the Stanley Cup. That’s what I’m excited about. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity.”
Can the Isles possibly sell him on that opportunity?
Boyle's 12 goals and 24 assists in 2013-14 were split evenly on the power play and at even strength. If he decides to join the Islanders, he'll no doubt provide a key right-handed shot to the power play. That's a role they hope will one day be filled by Ryan Pulock, but not now. Not yet.
Check out Boyle's recent analytic stats here.