Updates from Tuesday, July 1
Darren Dreger of TSN has the latest on Boyle's free agency, and potentially interested teams:
D.Boyle expects 4 offers. Washington is believed to have joined a group of teams that also includes Tor, Mtl, Det, NYR and Tampa Bay. #FAF— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2014
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports a deal is done for Boyle:
Post has learned Rangers have signed Dan Boyle to two year deal worth $9M— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 1, 2014
Dan Boyle may be turning 38 years of age in July, but his numbers certainly don't show it.
The two-way defenseman is coming off a decent season with the San Jose Sharks, accumulating 36 points—12 goals and 24 assists—and contributing on special teams while still being able to spend an average of over 21 minutes per game on the ice.
Although he's had more productive seasons in the past, Boyle has had a storied 16-year career. During his time in the NHL, he's racked up 144 goals—including 26 game-winners—and 417 assists for a total of 561 points.
ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun recently spoke with one Eastern Conference team executive who had some high praise for the veteran Boyle:
"I still think he can really help a team, he's still a great skater and a terrific character guy."
In early June, the New York Islanders acquired Boyle for a conditional 2015 fifth-round pick. That didn't last long, as the the club couldn't get the defenseman's signature on a contract, and he is now set to hit the open market with free agency starting on Tuesday.
Needless to say, there's already been plenty of interest.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press tweeted a rumor of the Red Wings' interest:
#RedWings have reached out to a number of players agents today. Strong interest in D Dan Boyle.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) June 25, 2014
Although, Detroit will have plenty of competition.
According to a tweet from Darren Dreger of TSN, at least four other teams are highly interested:
Dan Boyle will have multiple offers tomorrow on a 2 yr deal. TB, Tor, Det, NYR and Mtl believed to be his top 5. #TSN— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 30, 2014
Which team lands Boyle in free agency?
Not only are those teams enticed by Boyle, but they are also apparently willing to offer him a contract immediately when the free-agency period opens.
St. James elaborated on the defenseman's potential contract numbers from Detroit:
"The Wings will be offering Boyle, who turns 38 in July, a two-year contract in the $11 million range. That's a lot to pay, but this is a weak market for UFA defensemen, and Detroit will be up against at least a handful of other bidders."
Yet despite Detroit's interest and a potential quality deal already drawn out, there may be another team in the driver's seat to land Boyle's services, according to a report from Dreger:
The Toronto Maple Leafs are high on Dan Boyle's list. He's expected to alert Islanders GM Garth Snow at some point this week as to whether or not he intends to negotiate with the Islanders with the possibility of staying there after New York made the trade for his negotiating rights. I know that the Islanders have already made an offer but there is no negotiation. Boyle wants a two-year deal, and the money might be more than the Leafs are willing to pay but they definitely have interest.
It remains to be seen if the Maple Leafs will offer enough to bring Boyle aboard, but per a tweet from LeBrun, Toronto appears to be interested enough to make a serious bid:
Leafs and Rangers among several teams interested in UFA Dan Boyle. Toronto's interest said to be ``serious.''— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 25, 2014
In any case, it's fair to assume some form of a bidding war will ensue between all of the interested parties. That should intrigue Boyle, who likely doesn't have many contracts left on the horizon in his career.
The way things look, it won't be long until we know what color jersey Boyle will be wearing during the 2014-15 season. As a quality locker room player who is still productive, his landing spot will be a storyline worth monitoring in the coming days.