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Yesterday the Islanders acquired Dan Boyle from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional draft pick in the hopes of trading for and signing their second UFA-to-be in as many months. Boyle, who turns 38 next month, could be a solid veteran defenseman and power play specialist if he decides to sign with the Islanders. Boyle would be along the lines of the acquisitions of Evgeni Nabokov and Lubomir Visnovsky, veterans nearing forty on the backend of their career who, for an indeterminate amount of time, can be very useful and solid players. Last season in San Jose, Boyle was middle of the pack among Sharks defenders as far fenwick and corsi go, which isn't bad. San Jose was a good defensive team, allowing the fifth fewest goals per game in the league and the sixth fewest shots allowed, so getting a middle of the pack defender from them is clearly a good thing. Especially for the Islanders who allowed the third most goals in the league.The catch with Boyle is of course his age -- you never know if guys will keep up production and when (not if) they'll all of a sudden fall of a cliff -- and the other issue is concussions. Like Lubomir Visnovsky, Boyle missed a significant part of last season due to concussion issues.[sny-box]At 37, Boyle was looking for more than a one-year deal, and the Sharks, even before the playoffs, were not willing to offer one. Boyle acknowledged he struggled much of the year to recover from a concussion suffered Oct. 15 but said two weeks ago that he thought his game had improved over the past month and a half.[/sny-box]And here's more from January, when Boyle talked about returning to the ice and how he may have done so too early:[sny-box]"I was a second slow out there -- everything, my stride, my reaction time. Everything was just a little slow," he said. "And that's all it takes. All it takes in this game is just half a second. And it was creating a lot of problems."[/sny-box]Boyle is still a defender the Islanders need. He had 36 points in 75 games, 18 of those on the power play, for San Jose last year despite these issues. Even at 38, he should still have a good year (or couple of years?) left in the tank. But, as with Visnovsky, it now comes with the added risks of concussion issues.
Tags: Islanders , Kevin Schultz
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