When news broke that the San Jose Sharks would not be bringing veteran defenseman Dan Boyle back to the lineup next season, he was anything but reserved with his feelings about what happened; in the simplest of terms, Boyle explained he was devastated. And no one could blame him, especially after the Sharks’ recent Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Kings a few days earlier in a series San Jose was leading three games to none at one point.
But during his interviews, Boyle also spoke about his excitement for July and seeing what his options for future teams were. And while absolutely nothing has been talked about, Boyle would not necessarily be a bad addition for the Anaheim Ducks to pursue if the cards fit correctly for both player and team.
At 37 years old, Boyle is not going to have the defensive speed many of the top defensive names, such as Duncan Keith, are famous for today. But Anaheim already has youth and speed within the team’s defensive core, especially if the Ducks chose to re-sign Sami Vatanen. Regardless of Vatanen, the Ducks have the futures of players such as Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm, and the team needs more of a consistent veteran presence on the blue line next year — a big body capable of defending the puck was exactly what the team didn’t have enough of during the playoffs. At some points, it seemed Francois Beauchemin had to play that part all on his own.
While the reality of the situation comes down to so much more than whether Boyle’s talent could be used on the team (it can), the Ducks might not be too far off to entertain the idea within the next few weeks. Boyle is well known for his leadership on and off the ice, and with the exit of Teemu Selanne from Anaheim’s lineup, the team might be looking to help fill a bit of that realistically unfulfillable voice as well.
Dan Boyle as an Anaheim Duck? It doesn’t sound too shabby — although the Sharks vs. Ducks turf wars might just get that much more heated if this suggestion were ever to become an actual reality.