NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First the goalie, now the defenseman?
Islanders general manager Garth Snow continued his proactive approach to the offseason on Thursday, sending a conditional fifth round pick in the 2015 draft to the San Jose Sharks for the rights to veteran defenseman Dan Boyle.
If Boyle — who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 — signs, the pick would become a fourth round selection.
“We don’t know what the future holds with him but we wanted the exclusive window to try and sign him,” Snow told Newsday on Thursday afternoon.
George Bazos, Boyle’s agent, told Newsday that Boyle had some brief chats with Snow, but added the sides still had a lot to discuss.
“Dan wants to talk to some people he knows about Islanders’ situation. He’s made it clear to me he’s open to any and all options,” Bazos said.
Following their seven-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs, the Sharks announced that Boyle, who will turn 38 in July, would not be re-signed. The 2013-14 season marked the final year of the six-year, $40 million deal he signed prior to the 2008-09 season.
Boyle led all San Jose defensemen in scoring last season, registering 36 points, including 12 goals, in 75 games. He added four assists in the playoff series against Los Angeles.
In 954 career regular season NHL games with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose, Boyle has 561 points (144 goals, 417 assists). He is ranked 46th all-time in scoring among NHL defenseman and is fourth among active defensemen. Boyle has appeared in at least 75 games in nine of the last 10 full NHL seasons.
During his 15-year NHL career, Boyle, a two-time All-Star, has 70 points (14 goals, 56 assists) in 107 career playoff games. He was a member of the Stanley Cup champion Lightning in 2004 and won the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with Team Canada.
At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Boyle figures to be a top four pairing blueliner who would get a lot of minutes on the power play. If signed, Boyle solves a need for the Islanders, who have lacked veteran know-how in their own end for quite some time.
The trade follows a similar path Snow executed with goaltender Jaroslav Halak. On May 1 the veteran goaltender’s rights were acquired from the Washington Capitals. Three weeks later the Islanders announced they had signed Halak to a four-year, $18 million contract.
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