Boyle: "It's been tough. ... I want to be here"
The first thing Dan Boyle wanted clear Thursday morning is that he re-signed with the Lightning last season "to stay in Tampa."
There are several reasons. The defenseman is recently married to Amber Esposito of Indian Rocks Beach, and the couple is expecting a child in late November. "And her family is here and friends," Boyle said. Mostly, though, he wants to stay in Tampa because he loves the Lightning.
"It's not always about the money all the time," said Boyle, whose six-year, $40-million deal will pay a relatively reasonable $6.667-million annually. "I'm a pretty loyal guy. I'm a Tampa guy. That's who helped me turn my career around and gave me a chance. This is where I want to be. If I'm not there, it's not because I don't want to be."
Boyle, who turns 32 on July 12, said listening to the rumors he will be traded to help clear cap space for a team that is over the $56.7-million limit "has been tough. It's been really hard."
He also said that right now, he has no intention of waiving his no-trade clause. Having said that, he also said he understands this situation is not personal.
"I'm looking at every different angle, but mainly, absolutely, business," he said. "If a trade makes sense, I completely understand, and I have no problem with that. But on the other hand, if it doesn't make sense, then I do have a problem with that."
Boyle said he is completely healed from last season's wrist problems, had a few words for those who mock his minus-29 rating from last season -- "There were only a handful of games where I could hardly hold my stick" -- and if he is not traded would have no trouble playing for a team that perhaps tried to move him.
"I play for the guys in the locker room," Boyle said. "That's who I play for. They're not involved in the negotiations. When I was in Florida (with the Panthers) I still played my heart out for a coach (Mike Keenan) I couldn't even bear to look at. I just play."
There will be more in Friday's paper.