Koules, Melrose mock Boyle rumor

26

June

Oren Koules rolled his eyes when told about the rumor floating around the Lightning. Barry Melrose just chuckled.

The rumor from Canada's TSN: Defenseman Dan Boyle could be trade bait this summer in order to free up some salary cap space.

Melrose said it was a case of the Canadian media trying to "make" the news, and added, "Danny Boyle is the guy I'm counting on to play 25 minutes a night."

Asked about the rumor, Koules said, "I'll answer anything that's important" and proceeded not to answer.

At a quick glance, the idea of losing Boyle doesn't make a lot of sense unless the team plans on bringing in another puck-moving defenseman. Anyone who saw Tampa Bay play last season knows the gymnastics the team went through to reconfigure its breakouts because it did not have another player capable of lugging the puck or consistently making a definitive pass forward to keep up with sprinting forwards like Vinny Lecavalier or Marty St. Louis.

And if the Lightning does not bring in another puck-mover to take Boyle's place, the job would fall to the still developing Paul Ranger, who may or may not be 100 percent because of shoulder surgery. Shane O'Brien may have the instincts for the job, but not the experience or the discipline just yet.

Granted, rumors come from somewhere, but the Boyle one, right now, anyway, seems a little odd.

      

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]

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