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Speculation (read: rumors) has been running rampant the past several days that the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to purge themselves of Dan Boyle’s six-year $40-million dollar contact in order to reach a self imposed spending limit. The problem with this grand master plan is that Boyle was given a no trade clause in his extension prior to last years trade deadline. There have been numerous teams rumored asking about the services of Boyle, you guessed it – the Islanders are said to be in the mix.

Normally, I would take whatever I read on the various message boards or rumor websites with a grain of salt – but the websites and writers I respect most are all reporting the same things. Greg Logan from Newsday wrote about it in a story for Friday’s paper and in his blog, Spector mentions the Islanders in his Boyle updates, and Kuklas Korner also mentions the Islanders with Boyle. What makes things even more interesting, is that the Islanders are even mentioned in a local Tampa newspaper blog as well. All signs point to this being a confirmed interest in Boyle.

While Boyle may not fit into what the Islanders are trying to accomplish perfectly, he is another offensive defenseman – and a fairly solid defender. Tampa is looking to shed salary, so this is another example of how the Islanders cap-space has become even more valuable. The Lightning are trading from a position of weakness, so the Islanders could snatch Boyle up for a mid-level prospect and a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick. To me, this would be a no brainer because it would solidify the defensive corps and you can then shift your focus on adding a top-six forward to jump start the offense. Boyle doesn’t make the Isles any more of a contender than they would be without him, but he definately makes them a solid team defensively. This is something that needs to be watched closely over the next coming days, that is for sure.

July 4th Update

Apparently San Jose has traded for Dan Boyle and completely overpayed in my eyes: Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich to San Jose for Matt Carle, Ty Wishart, a 1st and a 4th

Chris Botta claims that the Islanders did more than just “kick the tires” in his blog – they very much wanted Boyle – but I bet the first round pick made Snow cringe and terminate any talks of a trade. Good on ya Garth!