The 32-year-old pending UFA has all the makings of a solid depth rental for a team looking to make a playoff run.
“Brian Boyle is a depth guy,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said during Saturday’s Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada. “A lot of teams are looking for depth centremen.”
One such team, said Kypreos, is the Edmonton Oilers. But at what cost?
“I’m told right now that the feeling was the price was too high from [Tampa GM] Stevie Yzerman—maybe as much as a first-round pick,” said Kypreos. “Saying that, the prices may drop.”
Having already matched his points total from last season, Boyle has had a strong 2016-17 campaign with 13 goals and seven assists.
“Peter Chiarelli was in Minnesota [Friday] night for Minnesota-Tampa,” added Elliotte Friedman. “Probably watching Brian Boyle.”
The Lightning have been a bubble team when it comes to the playoff picture, but their current place in the standings—sixth in the Atlantic Division and four points out of a wild-card spot—suggest they could be deadline sellers rather than buyers.
The young Columbus Blue Jackets are another club that could a bit of veteran expertise, said Kypreos, who also suggested Toronto as a potential destination.
“I’m even hearing theToronto Maple Leafs are not too happy with their fourth-line situation. Maybe Boyle might be a fit there as well,” said Kypreos.
Boyle has tallied 26 points through 100 career post-season games, making deep runs with both the Lightning and New York Rangers.