San Jose Sharks: NHL Trade Rumors Swirling Around Dan Boyle

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIJuly 19, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 19:  Dan Boyle #22 of the San Jose Sharks in action against the St. Louis Blues in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April 19, 2012 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle is likely on the trading block after several reports involving him have made the rounds in the past few days.

ESPN's John Buccigross said via Twitter that he had heard inklings of a possible Boyle for Marian Gaborik trade.

"Before I go get a flowcut, I want to hear from Rangers & Sharks fans. I heard a Dan Boyle for Marian Gaborik trade almost happened. Thoughts"

A report from CBC's Elliotte Friedman then came out on Wednesday stating that Boyle's full no-trade protection in his contract had expired. If the report is true, the Sharks have the option of trading the 36-year-old this offseason, as well as begin to legitimately field calls from teams inquiring about his services.

Boyle had nine goals and 39 assists last season and has been the veteran leader on the defensive side of the puck for the Sharks since Rob Blake retired a few years ago.

He also has two more years left on his contract.

However, with the offseason addition of Brad Stuart, Boyle and some of the other defensemen on the roster are very expendable right now.

Boyle's play and productivity have slowly decreased over the past few seasons, and at several points last season, he seemed to be the weakest link on the ice.

Currently, San Jose has Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brad Stuart, Jason Demers, Douglas Murray, Justin Braun and Boyle all vying for six spots on defense next season. It is assumed that the roster will not stay that way, with either Murray or Boyle leaving this offseason.

With regards to how much value Boyle has on the trade market, he apparently has a lot. Many teams could do worse than a veteran defenseman that can still play big minutes with an ability to move the puck up the ice.

Although Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Kevin Kurz refutes the report that Boyle for Gaborik had the possibility of happening, it still insinuates that the Sharks can acquire some real talent for Boyle if trading him is in their plans.

San Jose does need more scoring punch on the top two lines, which seems to be the goal in its pursuit of Rick Nash. But swapping Boyle in a trade for someone that can contribute alongside the likes of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Martin Havlat and Patrick Marleau could be very enticing for GM Doug Wilson, especially if it means taking nothing significant away from the defense.

Follow me on Twitter @ScottSemmler22

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