Philadelphia Flyers: Danny Briere Departs, While Dan Boyle Arrives?

By Sean O'Brien
Philadelphia Flyers Dan Boyle
Jeromine Miron – USA TODAY Sports

No, Danny Briere hasn’t been traded. He just won’t be in the lineup when the Philadelphia Flyers face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, due to an upper body injury that he sustained during practice last week.

As far as San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle goes, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio reported this weekend that general manager Paul Holmgren has been scouting Boyle and appears to have interest in obtaining the 36-year-old veteran.

While the Sharks are in a slightly better playoff position than the Flyers (who are barely in the race), San Jose doesn’t appear to be a serious Stanley Cup contender this season. Because of their lack of current salary cap space, it’s intriguing to consider who the Flyers would need to relinquish in order to acquire Boyle.

While this right-handed shooting defenseman has averaged over 23 minutes of ice time per game this season, his $6.66 million salary cap hit (Capgeek certified) makes him the highest-ranked Sharks’ defender on their roster. His current deal lasts through next season, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Despite his advanced hockey age, Boyle would help to provide a short-term fix for the Flyers’ blue line contingent.

Depending upon how long “Danny B” remains out of action, his name could still float across the Flyers’ digital divide by trade deadline day (April 3). Briere’s $6.5 million cap hit is the highest on Holmgren’s roster.

Because of Briere’s age (35) and the fact that he has two more guaranteed seasons left on his deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015, it’s likely that he won’t live in the Philadelphia region for long.

Holmgren’s ongoing dilemma involves trying to revamp his team, while also remaining competitive. As to whether he can begin that process during the next 10 days is a fluid question.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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