After six seasons, the San Jose Sharks have parted ways with veteran defenseman Dan Boyle.
The team announced Thursday that they have traded Boyle to the New York Islanders in exchange for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2015 that becomes a fourth-rounder if Boyle signs with the Islanders before next season.
Boyle had 12 goals and 24 assists in 75 games last season. While Boyle played well during the postseason, he appears to have lost a step or two of his game. Boyle’s 36 points this past season is the lowest in his Sharks’ career in a full, 82-game season.
He was acquired in 2008 by the Sharks in a trade with the Lightning, and had some terrific seasons with the Sharks as one of the top offensive-minded defensemen in the league. He quarterbacked the power play, showed off his superior skating abilities, and provided a veteran presence on the ice.
But all good things eventually come to an end. Boyle, who will turn 38 before next season, has seen his production tail off in recent years. With the Sharks’ collapse against the Kings in the first round, changes had to be made, and GM Doug Wilson made the decision that Boyle, who will become a free agent on July 1, would not be on the squad next season.
Boyle spoke with Wilson after the season about a contract extension, but talks went nowhere.
“Even though I was kind of expecting it a little bit, yeah, it’s devastating,” Boyle told the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve been here for six years, and I was clear that I wanted to be back here. I loved it here. Pretty tough news to take, but when you lose the way we did, you figured changes would need to be made.”