The rumours linking Dan Boyle with a return to the Tampa Bay Lightning are heating up again.
After the San Jose Sharks said they weren’t bringing Boyle back next season, rumours immediately started swirling that the Bolts could have interest in their former star defenseman.
However, they were short lived as Sharks general manager Doug Wilson traded Boyle’s right to the New York Islanders on June 5.
Fast forward to today, where Pierre LeBrun of ESPN says that the Islanders are now looking to trade Boyle’s rights because they haven’t been able to sign him.
Isles GM Garth Snow says he's now shopping Dan Boyle's rights, having been unable to sign the pending UFA defenseman…
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 18, 2014
With that news, came the immediate thought of the Lightning.
While Bolts GM Steve Yzerman hasn’t publicly commented, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Boyle’s agent says his client has interest in a reunion.
Agent has said Boyle would be interested in reunion with #tblightning, still has home here. Question is if role and $ would be a fit
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 18, 2014
The Lightning traded Boyle to San Jose in 2008 to acquire Matt Carle (who was quickly shipped to Philadelphia four months later).
Boyle is still arguably one of the best players in Lightning franchise history and he would be a great fit on a young Lightning squad due to his experience and leadership.
In six seasons in Tampa, Boyle played in 394 regular season games, recording 253 points. He also added 22 playoff points in 45 games, highlighted by his contributions during the Lightning’s Stanley Cup triumph in 2004.
He likely wouldn’t command top minutes but would be a great offensive addition. Despite turning 38 next month, Boyle’s skillset remains extremely high, especially on the power play and with his high level of skating.
He is reportedly looking for a two-year deal. Any deal with an older player comes with great risk, but Boyle has never missed significant time in his career, aside from his last season in a Bolts jersey during the 2007-08 season.
A reunion with Boyle could be the answer.