Boyle calls signing with Lightning a "home run"
Brian Boyle was on the tail end of his honeymoon, having gone from Napa Valley to two islands in Hawaii, when the key date of July 1st hit.
The long-time Ranger got up at 5 a.m., had some coffee on the porch of his Maui hotel with his new bride, model Lauren Bedford, knowing the opening day of free agency would be a hectic one.
Boyle, 29,, said he and his wife - who is from Orlando - had always been "drawn" to Tampa. And when the Rangers didn't give much of an offer, but the Lightning came in, they were excited.
"We jumped at at his quick as we could," Boyle said. "It was kind of a home run."
Boyle, who signed a three-year, $6 million deal with the Lightning, said he passed up more money from Toronto to come to Tampa. He will replace Nate Thompson's role as a fourth-line type defensive-minded forward and strong penalty killer, his "bread and butter." Boyle, at 6-foot-7, 244-pounds brings much-needed size to a young and small forward group.
The fact Boyle's wife is from Orlando was just a "cherry on top." He said there was a lot to like about the organization.
"Just seeing what the team has been able to do a couple years ago and this past year, some are young guys and in terms of on-ice production, I was really, really excited to try to be a part of it," Boyle said.
Boyle said a key resource was former Rangers teammate Ryan Callahan, who was a captain in New York and had made the similar move at last season's trade deadline, coming to Tampa in the Marty St. Louis trade. Callahan, 29, recently signed a six-year, $34.8 million deal to stay with Tampa Bay.
"It was his perspective, was that something I reallly could trust, because he's been through the same thing and he's moving down there and he was raving about it," Boyle said. "So obviously I took his word for it."
Boyle, who had six goals and 12 assists in 82 games with the Rangers last season, hopes to bring his experience (58 career playoff games) to a young forward core. He'll be a mainstay on the penalty kill.
"If that was going to be my role, I wanted to do it better than anybody," he said. "I try to be hard to play against, make it difficult as I can for opposing guys, not give them much space."