Well, we can officially classify the Tampa Bay Lightning as “sellers.”
The Bolts made their second notable trade in 24 hours on Monday, sending veteran center Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a package for forward Byron Froese and a 2017 second round pick in the NHL draft.
Boyle, 32, is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Brain Boyle, who will be UFA at seasons end, has a $2,000,000 cap hit which would cost the #Leafs $466,667 in prorated cap space as of today— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 27, 2017
Boyle has 13 goals, nine assists and 22 points in 54 games with the Lightning this season to go along with 48 penalty minutes. He’s well-known as a versatile forward, capable of killing penalties and chipping in offensively every once and awhile while thriving in a bottom six role.
Toronto is likely headed for the playoffs with one of the youngest rosters in the NHL, especially at the center position. They could use a center with experience in winning key faceoffs and killing penalties, something Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Tyler Bozak aren’t great at yet.
Boyle is one of the best teammates I ever played with. Valuable and versatile on the ice and great for the room. The kids get a good leader.— Patrick O'Sullivan (@realPOSULLIVAN) February 27, 2017
Boyle has played in 100 playoff games with the Rangers and Lightning throughout his career. He’s expected to join the Leafs in San Jose today and suit up for their game against the Sharks on Tuesday.