It’s been a whirlwind few months, to say the least.
After Taylor Hall was forced to pull out of this year’s event due to an injury, someone at the NHL made the brilliant decision to invite his Devils teammate, who spent a chunk of his career as a fan favorite in Tampa, to take Hall’s spot. Due to medical concerns with his son, however, it was no given Boyle would attend. He needed a little convincing, and that’s where his wife Lauren came in.
“When the call came I couldn’t believe it, it was a range of emotions. The hardest part of this year has been, my little boy has had kind of a vein disorder in his chin. We had a scare, we thought it was a tumor, he’s had to go in for some operations,” Boyle said to reporters on Saturday.
“He was intubated for a day and a half. He’s out now, he’s better, but that’s a scary situation seeing your kid unconscious and being operated on. We’ve gone through that four times now.”
While getting emotional, Boyle stated it was Lauren who insisted he come to the All-Star Game despite the issues with their son.
“That’s why I say, ‘I’m not playing if it’s not for my wife.’ She’s taken the brunt of this, she had so many sleepless nights in hospital beds. Everything’s fine, but it’s still scary to see,” Boyle said.
“When I got the news, he was already in the hospital and there was a decision to be made. At my wife’s urging … she just knows that I’ve worked my whole life to play this game. I just want to do my best.”
Not only did Boyle attend, he was absolutely beloved by the by the Tampa crowd, who showered him with applause and admiration every time Boyle’s name blasted through the speakers or he appeared on the Jumbotron at Amalie Arena, including a standing ovation when he was first announced. Even one of his former teammates said the room started getting a little dusty when Boyle was introduced.
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) January 28, 2018
Boyle clearly wasn’t just going to go through the motions once he made his decision to come, nearly beating Brock Boeser in the Accuracy Shooting competition, but came up just a half-second short of the Canucks rookie.
All signs point to the 33-year-old feeling up to par and back on his game since returning to the NHL, tallying 11 goals and 17 points in 38 games played this season.