Monday, February 25, 2008

Dan Boyle Re-signs Sending Brad Richards Out the Door

The Lightning re-signed Dan Boyle, a 31 year old puck-moving defenseman coming off a career year last season with 20 goals and 63 assists, to a 6-year deal worth $40 million. Boyle has suffered through a variety of injuries this season including a freak accident where his skate fell from his locker and severed a number of tendons in his wrist costing him 36 games. He's been healthy for less than a month and it didn't take long for the rumor mill to get rolling. Tampa's ownership questions left everything in the wind but apparently the new owners wanted Boyle to stay. So much so that they signed him to a deal that pretty much guarantees that one of the "big three," which is Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St Louis, will be moved by tomorrow's deadline. Lecavalier is a Lightning for life, if they have any sense at all, and St Louis is most likely staying put leaving Richards and his $7 million a year the odd man out. My guess would be that he'll take his league worst plus/minus rating of -25 to Vancouver who is desperate for offense. At 27, Richards is in the prime of his career and, having only played for Tampa Bay in his entire career, he know has an opportunity to take his Stanley Cup ring and try to add to it in the heart of hockey country.

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