Jun 6 2014, 2:40am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"The Sharks traded defenseman Dan Boyle to the New York Islanders on Thursday in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
"If Boyle re-signs with New York before the start of the 2014-15 regular season, the draft pick becomes a fourth-round selection in the 2015 draft.
"Boyle, 37, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and was not going to be brought back by the Sharks. Boyle and general manager Doug Wilson could not agree on the length of a potential contract extension, and Wilson said last month he wants to rely more on younger players next season.
"Reached via text message by this newspaper, Boyle declined to comment. But Boyle's agent, George Bazos, said he was unaware the Islanders were interested in the veteran defenseman until after the trade was announced.
"Since then, Bazos said, Islanders general manager Garth Snow had talked with both himself and Boyle.
"'We're all just at the beginning stage everything,' Bazos said.
"Obviously it is in the Islanders' best interest to sign Boyle before he hits the open market on July 1, but Bazos said it was too soon to assess the chances of that happening.
"'I can say Dan originally was willing to keep all options open,' Bazos said, going back to last month when Boyle learned the Sharks would not be bringing him back. 'Obviously the Islanders are a young, fast, exciting team. But until we really start to talk more in-depth, it's be impossible to categorize that."
ESPN New York's Katie Strang added more details about the trade.
"Boyle, 37, is coming off a six-year, $40 million deal with the Sharks. He had 12 goals and 36 points for San Jose this season and is regarded as one of the smooth-skating, mobile defensmen in the game.
"If the Isles are able to get him under contract, this will be the second time this spring they have gained a solid veteran player in this type of trade.
"The Islanders signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year, $18 million deal last month after obtaining an excusive negotiating window via trade with the Washington Capitals. The Isles sent a back a fourth-round pick in that trade."
The New York Daily News' Stephen Lorenzo also points out the Islanders will benefit from Boyle's veteran presence.
"While he's certainly lost a step in production, Boyle is a proven NHL defenseman that would add experience to a youthful Islanders locker room. The veteran has tallied 561 points (144 goals, 417 assists) in his 16-year career. He won a Stanley Cup in the 2003-04 season as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 23 games played.
"The Isles, who parted ways with Andrew MacDonald near the trade deadline, could use some serious help at the blue line. Travis Hamonic, 23, is a proven NHL defenseman and Calvin de Haan, 23, began to show promise toward the end of last season, but the Isles need more than just a veteran presence like Boyle on their back end if they're to compete in the Metropolitan Division against teams like the (Pittsburgh) Penguins, (New York) Rangers and (Philadelphia) Flyers."
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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