With the San Jose Sharks already announcing they weren't going to bring back veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, the team decided to get something for him before he just walked to free agency. So on Thursday the Sharks traded his negotiating rights to the New York Islanders.
In exchange for the rights to Boyle, the Islanders are surrendering a conditional fifth-round draft pick that becomes a fourth-rounder should the Islanders sign Boyle to a new deal.
Boyle is the second player's rights the Islanders have traded for this postseason, earlier acquiring the rights to goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Washington. They were able to sign Halak to a new deal and now they'll clearly try to do the same with Boyle.
At 37, Boyle is certainly past his prime but he feels he still has something to give and was more than a little disappointed when the Sharks decided not to bring him back. The potential fit on Long Island should be intriguing.
The Islanders are a very young team that has had two big weakness in recent seasons; defense and goaltending. They got the latter of the two hopefully shored up and adding Boyle would be a big step in fixing the former. He isn't what he used to be but Boyle is still a good offensive threat and perhaps more importantly, he would add a steady veteran presence to a group that could use it after the departure of Mark Streit last season.
It's now up to GM Garth Snow to convince Boyle that this is a good fit for him instead of testing the free-agent market on July 1. Certainly Snow can point to this and the Halak moves as signs that he's making big steps to get the Isles back into playoff contention after a rough season.
Boyle had 12 goals and 24 assists last season for the Sharks in 75 games. He has spent the past six seasons in San Jose, playing the first 10 years of his NHL career split between the Florida teams.