Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks has been here before: Making great money, playing for a team that isn’t so great and hearing about his future being debated in the media.
The first time was in Summer 2008, when his six-year, $40-million contract was seen as an unnecessary expense by new Tampa Bay Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
Trouble for them was that he had a no-trade clause. Trouble for Boyle was that it wasn’t a no-movement clause, so they threatened to drop him onto waivers where a team like the Atlanta Thrashers would had snatched him up.
His hand forced, Boyle accepted a trade to the San Jose Sharks for two players and two picks, lamented to the media that he “was misled, lied to and completely disrespected."
This year, Boyle’s name is again on the lips of pundits, with his contract set to expire in Summer 2014 and with a $6,666,667 million cap hit on a team that’s 12-10-6 and on the bubble in the West. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN has been banging the Boyle-to-the-New York Rangers drums, and Boyle’s heard the beat.
Boyle, 36, has a limited no-trade clause; could he be sacrificed at the deadline so the Sharks can rebuild on the fly?
He hopes he doesn’t move.
“This is where I want to be. I don’t want to be anywhere else. You guys have been with me for five years and you know what I bring to the table. I don’t want to be anywhere else. It’s not fun to hear that.
“The only other time my name was involved was five years ago. Sometimes where there’s smoke there’s fire, and I hope in this case, it’s not the case. It’s hard not to pay attention to that stuff.”
Kurz points out that trading Boyle means trading the team’s ice time leader (23:21) and power-play quarterback; and that moving Brent Burns into that role is a complicated notion, what with his inconsistency on the blue line and his strong play as a forward this far.
Trading Boyle makes a lot of sense for the Sharks right now, especially if they wanted to get aggressive in the offseason; how about flipping that salary into an offer sheet for Alex Pietrangelo or Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues (just spit-ballin’ here)?