Friday, July 04, 2008

Double, double, Boyle and trouble

Dan Boyle's $40-million contract was about as nutty as they come when it was signed four months ago, but the craziest thing about the whole ordeal these days is that there's apparently quite a market for his services at that ticket.

Here's what I said in this space when he signed the deal just before the trade deadline (a contract given at the request of the new ownership group, which is now requesting that he leave town despite the no-trade clause he was given):
The cap hit's a steep figure for an offensive defenceman who is going to be 32 in July and is coming off of a gruesome, freak wrist injury that has kept him out of all but 17 games this season. Boyle's a great puckmover, but I can't imagine that'll be the case in 2013-14.

He's really only had three truly productive NHL seasons, was never drafted and is undersized for his position.
The Lightning's company line at the time? "This signing demonstrates the commitment of current and prospective ownership to ice a championship calibre team in Tampa," said GM/puppet Jay Feaster.


Tampa Bay beat writer Damian Cristodero says the three suitors for Boyle at the moment are Vancouver, Atlanta and San Jose, three curious entries given (a) the Canucks would need Boyle to play forward (b) the Thrashers have bigger needs elsewhere and aren't big spenders and (c) the Sharks just coughed up $5-million for the ghost of Rob Blake.

If he does accept a deal to either Vancouver or San Jose, a less-salaried defender is going the other way. The Canucks would like to move Kevin Bieksa (for obvious reasons given the tough year he had) and the Sharks could unload Matt Carle.

Both deals would save the Lightning roughly $3-million, although I'm unsure as to (a) why there's a great rush to unload salary when they're comfortably under the cap and (b) why downgrading on defence, as opposed to not giving Gary Roberts $2-million, is the solution.

This "trade Boyle" notion also isn't, apparently, a longstanding one, given there was considerable talk about his role on the team at the draft a few weeks ago.

It's best to not try to make sense of what goes on in Tampa these days.

If I'm Boyle, on principle, there's no way I waive the clause. His wife is from the Tampa area, is expecting a child and both want to stay there long-term.

Yes, he is well-compensated, but the clause was bargained for in good faith and should be honoured. The problem then becomes, however, that the Lightning are threatening to waive him, eliminating Boyle's ability to control where he goes.

What a mess.

We'll know Friday whether he stays or goes.

UPDATE Boyle's waived the no-trade clause for a deal to San Jose. I'll have another post on that in the near future.

(Macbeth's pretty fitting for the headline on this one. After all, it's the archetypal story "of the dangers of the lust for power and the betrayal of friends.")

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At 3:12 a.m., July 04, 2008, Anonymous fingerfan14 said...

Yet one more team that gives out a no trade clause and proves their word is worthless. Vancouver might want to sign some forwards since they still don't have anyone on the top line. Atlanta makes some sense because they look like they are still under the cap floor. San Jose makes no sense at all but a combination of Blake/Boyle might be the nicest thing Doug Wilson can give to the other pacific division teams. Hypothetically if Boyle calls the Bolts bluff and they do have to buy him out what would the cost and years be for that?

At 5:30 a.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Can't they just trade Dan Boyle the ESPN journalist to TSN?

At 7:15 a.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Big Picture Guy said...

It certainly is a witches brew. Jay Feaster could play the part of Banquo's ghost. Philadelphia has also been mentioned as a possible destination:doubt that it will be Atlanta, they don't have many assets for a trade, are in the division, and will be still paying for the Zhitnik buyout.

At 9:34 a.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Canuckfan said...

And I think Mike Gillis has sworn an oath, not to sign any top 6 scorer born of woman.

At 9:39 a.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Jonathan said...

If he does accept a deal to either Vancouver or San Jose, a less-salaried defender is going the other way. The Canucks would like to move Kevin Bieksa...

As an Oilers fan, I'm right behind this move. You must stop making me optimistic, Mr. Mirtle.

At 10:56 a.m., July 04, 2008, Anonymous Dave said...

That's a good trade for San Jose. They need some veteran leadership on the blueline. If the ghost of Rob Blake was it I wouldn't be impressed but Boyle can help offset the loss of Campbell.

God, Tampa is just a complete mess. Someone needs to get a reality show going with the two owners. They'd be more entertaining and possibly provide more unintentional humor than Paris and Nicole.

At 11:24 a.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

San Jose's blueline has suddenly gotten pretty old.

At 11:40 a.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Canuckfan said...

Dave, you'll be hearing from Mike Gillis' lawyers today. I do believe that the Canucks have trademarked the phrase "complete mess".

At 12:12 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Aaron said...

The Sharks current blueline has gotten a lot older, but Vlasic is still just 22 and the franchise believes they have 2 NHL caliber players in the pipeline. Ty Wishart probably could've stepped in this year if there had been a need, though after these deals it's hard to see him making the team. Nick Petrecki is heading into his sophomore season at BC after winning the title last year and will probably be ready for prime time in another 2-3 years. When Blake leaves after this year expect Wishart to replace him on the roster next year and Petrecki to replace Rivet not long after that, at which time they'd have 3 relative youngsters (Vlasic, Wishart, Petrecki) to team with 3 veterans (Ehrhoff, Boyle, Murray). As far as having a long term plan for the position this isn't a bad one, the only question that remains unanswered is what to do with the corpse of Kyle Mac.

As a Sharks fan I am not yet in love with this deal, but I don't hate it either. It seems like a lot to give up and the value will depend on how well Boyle holds up physically 3-4 years from now. I would have rather seen this package put together for someone like Bouwmeester, though I am happy to see that Sharks management appears willing to spend for the first time since... since... since... their inception.

At 12:25 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Aaron said...

Forget what I said about Wishart, apparently he's the prospect included in the deal. Yikes, that's not a good deal.

At 2:13 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Macbeth's pretty fitting for the headline on this one. After all, it's the archetypal story "of the dangers of the lust for power and the betrayal of friends."

I would prefer to quote noted thespian Wayne Gretzky, who in his great career on the frozen stage once remarked of a then-dysfunctional team, "What a Mickey Mouse organization."


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