The Islanders blue line saw its struggles in 2013-2014. It was quite evident that General Manager, Garth Snow, needed to address the issue during the off-season. At approximately 4pm Thursday, the Islanders announced that they had acquired defenseman Dan Boyle from the San Jose Sharks, in exchange for a conditional 5th round pick in next year’s draft.
Over the course of the eighty-two game regular season, eleven different players would suit up to man the Islanders point, which was decimated by injuries. With many of the team’s defensemen having little NHL experience, it became almost imperative for the Islanders to acquire a proven d-man, especially with the uncertainty surrounding veteran, Lubomir Visnovsky, who battled a concussion, and its reoccurring symptoms, throughout the year.
Dan Boyle is currently in the last month of a 6 year $40 million deal he signed with the Lightning back in 2008, prior to being traded to San Jose, in a deal that included former Islanders defenseman Ty Wishart.
The terms of Dan Boyle are similar to those that Garth Snow saw when he acquired Jaroslav Halak, meaning that the Islanders have exclusive rights to negotiate with Boyle until the opening of free agency on July 1st. Snow may sign Boyle or use him as trade bait if negotiations go south between now and the NHL Draft, which is scheduled for June 27th.
If Boyle goes on to sign with the Islanders, the draft pick used to acquire him will become a 4th round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft
Snow will look to have the same success with Boyle as he did Halak. With an exception being the terms of the contract. Boyle, who will turn 38 years old this July, will in all likelihood be signed to a short-term deal. The Ottawa, Ontario native has appeared in 954 career games for three different NHL teams since 1998.
If signed, Dan Boyle has the potential to add stability and reliability to a position that has been all but in the past few seasons. But first, the 5’ 11” blue liner and agent, George Bazos, must agree to terms on a contract with the Islanders.
Tom de Luca
You can follow Tom on twitter here: @T_deLuca24
Article was previously written on Jun 5th