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Lightning asks Boyle to waive no-trade clause

Things all of a sudden seem to be moving fast with the Lightning and Dan Boyle as the Lightning defenseman confirmed the team has asked him to waive his no-trade clause.

"They have asked me to waive my no-trade clause," Boyle said, "but that's all I can say right now."

It was unclear if the Lightning gave Boyle a destination, but it is believed teams interested are the Senators, Sharks, Canucks, Flyers, Islanders, Thrashers and Blue Jackets.

Owner Oren Koules could not be reached but owner Len Barrie said simply, "We're working on some things. ... When these things happen for a player, the team wants to do it in the right way and make it easiest for the player. Dan is a good guy and a good guy in the organization."

Boyle's agent George Bazos could not be reached for comment. Boyle in an interview earlier this morning, said he was not inclined to waive his no-trade clause.

That sets up this little scenario in which Boyle digs in his heels and the Lightning puts him on waivers and loses him for nothing, which, it seems to me would be stunningly shortsighted but is an option, perhaps not right away but it is available. You don't waive one of the league's best puck-moving defensemen, a player who was instrumental in helping tun around a franchise and win a Stanley Cup and lose him for nothing even if you are desperate to cut salary, and that is what this move seems to be about.

But there is a downside in that scenario for Boyle as well. If he does not waive his no-trade clause, he risks going somewhere he really doesn't want to be, whereas, you have to believe the Lightning will try to trade him to a Stanley Cup contender. That just makes sense because those are the teams that have the most to give back. The strongest rumors have had Boyle going to Ottawa, which is his hometown, and given the above list, Boyle probably is doing some research to figure out scenarios in which he can waive his no-trade clause.

Let me just say I am a huge Dan Boyle fan. I believe he is underrated on a league-wide scale. If the Lightning has to lose him, and all signs point to this as a way to cut salary, it has to get something significant in return.   

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


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