After two seasons as a Ranger, longtime Sharks and Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle is calling it a career. Boyle was one of the most prolific defensemen of his generation and retires with 163 goals and 605 points in 1,093 career games.
Veteran defenseman Dan Boyle had hinted that he was thinking about retirement before the end of the 2015-16 campaign, and he’s following through with his decision to hang up the skates.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Monday that Boyle, 40, was expected to announce his retirement this week, and CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reported that the former Sharks defenseman will do so Wednesday in a press conference at San Jose’s SAP Center.
Remarkably, Boyle’s career began without him being selected in the draft. After four seasons with the NCAA’s Miami RedHawks, Boyle found his way to the NHL by way of an AHL stint with the Kentucky Thoroughblades, and he spent time in each of the next two campaigns in the minor league. It wasn’t until 2000-01 that he got his first full-time NHL shot with the Florida Panthers, but his real coming out party was with Florida’s other club, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After arriving in Tampa in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2001-02, Boyle really hit his stride. The following season he finished 12th in Norris Trophy voting with a 13-goal, 53-point season, and averaged more than 24 minutes per game. In the four years that followed with the Lightning, Boyle would be part of a Stanley Cup championship, continuously garner votes for the Norris. His time with the Lightning came to an end in 2008, however, when Tampa Bay shipped him to San Jose in a four-player, two-pick deal.
In San Jose, Boyle continued to establish himself as one of the league’s premier scoring rearguards and he continued to be looked at as one of the best defenders in the league. He averaged more than 24 minutes of ice time per game in San Jose, had two top-six Norris voting finishes and managed three consecutive seasons with at least 50 points.
Over his six seasons with the Sharks, Boyle helped the franchise to two Western Conference final appearances, but by 2014-15 the team decided to cut ties with the veteran blueline.
He signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers, and this past season it became clear that Boyle’s time was nearly up. He averaged less than 19 minutes of ice time per game, but still chipped in 10 goals and 24 points.
Over the course of his 1,093 game career, Boyle was possibly one of the more underrated blueliners in the league. While he never took home the Norris, from his first full season in 2000-01 until 2015-16, he ranks third in scoring by defensemen. Only Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Gonchar racked up more points over that same span than Boyle’s 594, and only Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber have scored more than Boyle’s 160 goals.
Beyond having a Stanley Cup to his name, Boyle also boasts an Olympic gold medal, won at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver as part of Team Canada. Boyle registered one goal and six points in seven games at the tournament. He will retire as the highest-scoring defenseman in the history of both the Sharks and Lightning organizations, with 269 points and 253 points, respectively.
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