Leafs Acquire Boyle from the Lightning
The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired center Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for minor-league center Byron Froese and a second round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs coach Mike Babcock recently mentioned his club needed depth at center. Looks like GM Lou Lamoriello was listening.
The 6’6″, 244 pound Boyle isn’t a big scorer, but he’s a versatile forward who can play center or wing and has considerable playoff experience. Those attributes should make him a good addition to the Leafs’ checking lines as they push for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Boyle’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and is seen as a rental player. However, a strong performance on his part could sway the Leafs into re-signing him.
The Lightning, meanwhile, continue their sell off their pending UFAs, having shipped goaltender Ben Bishop yesterday to the Los Angeles Kings. They’re getting a decent return for Boyle in Froese and a second-round pick. That pick will reportedly be the highest of the three the Leafs have in the second round, as they also hold those from the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators.
The 25-year-old Froese only has 58 games of NHL experience and spent most of this season with the Leafs’ AHL farm team. He’s a hard-working depth forward who might get another shot at the bigs with the Bolts.