Boyle Spurning Isles Will Be Nothing New
The news that many of the top hockey insiders including Bob McKenzie, of TSN, and Andy Strickland, of CBS Sports Radio/Fox Sports Midwest, are reporting about the newly acquired Dan Boyle not willing to sign with the Islanders should not come of any surprise. Boyle “wants to play for a contender”, according to his agent George Bazos, and after a putrid season the Islanders are not considered a contender. Not yet at least.
Arthur Staple, of Newsday, reported yesterday that Boyle will formally advise the Islander’s brass at the end of the week after he does his due diligence. The almost 38 year old soon to be free agent defenseman, wants to talk to former and current Isles players and wants to hear the plan set forth by Garth Snow and company.
The Islanders are used to obtaining players that either don’t have a contract or don’t want to come to the team. In Boyle’s case, he seemingly will fall under both of these categories by the end of the week. Christian Ehrhoff, Evgeni Nabokov, Lubomir Visnovsky, Tim Thomas, and Jaroslav Halak are other players of the recent past that the Isles tried to court in interesting ways. All, except for Halak, tried their hardest to stay away from Long Island because of the poor roster, arena, etc. Ehrhoff and Thomas never reported to the team but Nabokov and Visnovsky ended up eventually accepting their fate to join the struggling franchise and have had nothing but praise for the organization and fan base.
The Islanders have many options throughout the free agent class, but they have clearly shown that they want Boyle. In contrast, Boyle’s options are limited as an older player who wants a big 2 year deal. So what will Boyle choose? Does it really matter? Though it would be nice to have the experience and consistency of Dan Boyle on the blue line, it will not be an enormous loss if he turns down New York.
Within the past week or so, it has been widely reported that many top tier players will be moved from their current teams this offseason like Ryan Kesler, Tomas Plekanec, Jason Spezza, and Joe Thornton. With giant names like these being thrown around as potential trade pieces, there are sure to be more to follow that better fit needs for the Islanders.
Having nothing but cap space and cheap, young players the Islanders are poised to have a big summer, with or without Dan Boyle.