Monday, February 27, 2017

NHL trade review: Leafs acquire Boyle for Froese and a pick

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired center Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a second round draft pick in the 2017 NHL draft and forward Byron Froese. Let's get into details.
     For the first time in what seems like forever, the Leafs are in the playoff chase. They currently sit in the second wild card spot in the Eastern conference with 69 points (a record of 28-20-13). They have many depth players in both the NHL and the AHL, but most of them are younger players/rookies. Getting a proven veteran who's been to the Cup finals twice in Boyle can really supercharge their lineup. The second rounder is a fair price for Boyle, and Froese isn't needed with Boyle on the roster. Boyle, 32, has 22 points (13 goals and 9 assists) in 54 games this season.
      The Lightning made the Stanley Cup finals in 2015 and the Eastern conference finals in 2016, but went WAY downhill in 2017. Superstar center Steven Stamkos has been injured practically the entire season, and winger Ryan Callahan is out for the rest of the season. With 62 points (a record of 27-25-8), the Bolts are 7 points out of a playoff spot. They already traded goalie Ben Bishop, and now that Boyle's gone, they are in a rebuild. A second round pick is a solid pick, and Froese is depth for this year. Boyle could be a UFA on July 1, so it's not a surprise he was dealt. Froese, 25, has no points in 2 games for the Leafs this season. He has 39 points (24 goals and 15 assists) in 48 games for Toronto (AHL) this season. 

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