Boyle: "I was disrespected."
If you thought Dan Boyle, traded Friday to the Sharks, was going to go quietly, think again. The Lightning defenseman had some parting shots for owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, and said he was "lied to completely, disrespected and misled."
Boyle said he believes the new ownership group, even though they did not have formal charge of the team, was was shopping him around the league shortly after he signed a six-year, $40-million contract. He said he was not told. Boyle said he was threatened with being put on waivers if he did not accept a trade and waived his no-trade clause. He said someone in the new ownership group, he would not say who, questioned his work ethic.
"He knows who he is," Boyle said. "But when your work ethic is questioned, I can't even, I'm at a loss for words as to what was said. It's absolutely disrespectful and not a way to treat a person."
Boyle said he would not have minded being shopped if he would have been told. In the interim, he bought a plot of land in the Tampa Bay area and is planning to build a house for his new wife and their first child, expected in late November.
"I understand business is business and I would not have taken it personally if it was done the right way, and when threats are involved and my personal character and work ethic is questioned; when those things get personal, that's not the way to do business."
Owner Len Barrie denied the new ownership group was shopping Boyle that early ("Totally untrue," he said), and added, "I don't think threat is the right word," as to Boyle perhaps being put on waivers. Barrie said the Lightning followed the rules of the collective bargaining agreement that says if a team has a "no-move" contract, no transaction can be contemplated. A no-trade clause only says a player can't be traded.
"Any time when you're in sports and you love the place you play, there's going to be emotions," Barrie said. "I played with Dan (with the Panthers). Dan is a good hockey player, but if Wayne Gretzky can be moved four times in his career, that's the business. We wish Dan all the best, and we think he's going to have great success running the Sharks power play."
Boyle said, "I'm speaking from the heart and not trying to grab headlines. ... I've given this franchise everything I had. I love it. I love the area and the fans. But at the end of the day, I was misled and lied to and completely disrespected. When you're threatened to be put on waivers and end up in Atlanta, it was an eye-opening situation for me."
As for the future, Boyle said, "I wish (the Lightning) absolutely the best. It's not one of those things where I sit here and hope Tampa Bay loses. I love the city and the fans too much. I think that would be wrong. I'm just very unhappy with the way I was treated. It's sad."
More in Saturday's paper.