In a way, Dan Boyle might represent everything that is wrong with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the present time. OK, maybe everything is a bit harsh, but he's at least an example. One of the better power play quarterbacks in the NHL, extremely productive offensively, and a player that helped the Lightning win its first, and to this point only, Stanley Cup, Boyle was pressured into waiving his no-trade clause prior to last season, and was ultimately moved to San Jose for defenseman Matt Carle, prospect Ty Wishart, and a 2009 first-round pick.
On the surface, it's an acceptable return. Not great, not awful. Acceptable. The problem? Less than a year later, only Ty Wishart remains with the organization.
Just a month into the season, Carle was sent to Philadelphia for the head-scratching return of Steve Downie and Steve Eminger, while the first-round pick was shipped to Ottawa, along with Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard, for Andrej Meszaros. Eminger was later traded to Florida for Noah Welch. It was a lot of moving parts and shuffling of the deck chairs, but only having Downie, Welch, Meszaros and Wishart to show for Boyle, Kuba and Picard isn't all that impressive. Of course, it's fair to point out that with Victor Hedman and free agent acquisition Mattias Ohlund, Tampa Bay's defense should be an interesting and improved group, but that doesn't excuse the lack of value it received for one of its best players.
San Jose is one of the team's that benefited from Tampa Bay's constant need to make moves and shuffle its roster, as it picked up a top-notch power play quarterback. In his first season with the Sharks, he finished with 57 points, sixth most among NHL defensemen, while his 32 points on the power play were good enough for fifth.
Draft Year: Not Drafted
Boyle signed with the Florida Panthers as a free agent in March, 1998, after spending his college career at Miami University. He played parts of four seasons with the Panthers before being dealt to the Lightning for a fifth-round pick in January of 2002.
Why He's On My List
Since making his debut in the NHL nearly a decade ago, Boyle has become one of the top offensive-defensemen in the league, scoring at least 15 goals and registering at least 50 points in three of the past four seasons (he played just 37 games during the 2007-08 season). With Boyle in the lineup, San Jose's power play improved significantly this season, making the jump from 10th in the NHL (18.7 percent) a season ago, all the way to third (24.2 percent) in 2008-09. He's improved defensively over the course of his career, and he's been logging anywhere between 25 and 27 minutes of ice-time per game the past three seasons.
Obligatory YouTube Video
He doesn't score on this play, but Boyle pulls out the Denis Savard spin-o-rama move in a game against the Los Angeles Kings.