According to press releases from both teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired centre Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning, in exchange for minor league centre Byron Froese and a 2017 second round pick. Boyle is a pending unrestricted free agent and marks the third Tampa Bay trade in three days (Ben Bishop to LA, Jeremy Morin to Arizona).
Boyle, 32, is now on to his fourth NHL team, after originally being selected 26th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. Boyle spent two seasons in Los Angeles before being dealt to the New York Rangers, where he spent five seasons before joining the Lightning. This season, Boyle has 13 goals and nine assists in 54 games and will anchor a line as a playoff veteran in Toronto.
Froese, 25, was a former fourth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, who was never able to make strides until he signed with the Maple Leafs in 2015. Froese was finally able to break through, after it tearing up with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and made his debut with the Leafs that same season. Froese has played in 58 NHL games with a total of two goals and three assists, and will likely get a shot in Tampa Bay, thanks to his terrific AHL season thus far (39 points in 48 games).
Froese has played in 58 NHL games with a total of two goals and three assists, and will likely get a shot in Tampa Bay, thanks to his terrific AHL season thus far (39 points in 48 games).
The Lightning will continue to sell their leftover rental pieces, while netting important players for the future. Froese will likely get a chance to play in Tampa Bay, despite being assigned to the Syracuse Crunch. Toronto is assembling their roster for a playoff run, and Boyle provides the veteran leadership and depth they so desperately need.