Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning re-signs defenseman Boyle

Funny thing talking to Dan Boyle late Monday night.

The Lightning's star defenseman had just signed a six-year, $40-million contract, but the tone of his voice was more measured than excited, more contemplative than reactive.

"It feels good," Boyle said, "but it's bittersweet. I want to win, and I almost can't wait to get started. I feel bad celebrating this when our team is sitting in last place. I don't know if that's right. It's just the way I feel."

The signing of the deal, which will pay $6.67-million each season, ended a topsy-turvy day in which it appeared an agreement was close but then was delayed as the team apparently tried to lower the average annual salary.

Lightning general manager Jay Feaster declined to discuss specifics but said the process was part of a long day in which he, could-be owner Oren Koules, coach John Tortorella and player personnel director Bill Barber discussed the direction of the team leading to today's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

"We were juggling multiple balls in the air," said Feaster, who also traded left wing Vinny Prospal to the Flyers for minor-league defenseman Alexandre Picard and spoke of the "ebb and flow" of negotiations.

"Danny's agent was traveling. We toyed with some things. We made some counteroffers. They came back with some counteroffers. As always happens, there's a lot of movement and probing at the end, 'What about this' and 'take a look at that.' But ultimately we were able to settle on a long-term deal we think is fair."

It also prevented the Lightning from trading Boyle at the deadline to ensure it would not lose him during the summer as an unrestricted free agent.

"It is a huge relief," Feaster said. "We approached this all along that retaining Danny was such a critical component for our team."

Boyle, 31, scored 20 goals last season and had a career-high 63 points, fourth among league defensemen. He has played 17 games this season because of two left-wrist surgeries but has three goals, 11 points and is averaging a team-high 27:34 of ice time.

Tortorella has said Boyle, who can carry the puck end-to-end, quarterbacks the power play and sparks the transition game, is the team's offensive catalyst.

He was Tampa Bay's top-scoring defenseman the previous four seasons. He also might have gotten more money, perhaps more than $7-million a season, as a free agent.

But Boyle's agent, George Bazos, said his client, engaged to Amber Esposito of Indian Rocks Beach, wanted to stay in Tampa:

"Whether we left a little on the table, who knows? Maybe on the free-agent market, nobody gives him six years. The only constant is Dan wanted to be in Tampa."

"Tampa is the team that gave me my opportunity to shine, so there's a sense of loyalty there," Boyle said. "I pushed George. I let him know I like it here and we've got something special here."

As for the Lightning, "Changes need to be made, but we're not that far away," Boyle said. "I would not have committed to a six-year deal if I thought we were going to be a basement team."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Lightning re-signs defenseman Boyle 02/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2008 12:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant in 10-inning victory

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh and working eight strong innings overall in a 4-2 10-inning victory over the Pirates.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better as the season goes on, which could make the Rays' decision whether to trade the free-agent-to-be tougher and tougher. He was efficient and effective, rolling through six no-hit innings and eight total.

  3. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is quick to make his presence felt.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Rays sign first-round pick Brendan McKay to record bonus

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — Determining whether top draft pick Brendan McKay will be more productive as a pitcher or a hitter or can handle the demands of doing both professionally will be a long endeavor that could take years.

    Louisville pitcher Brendan McKay  connects for a grand slam home run during the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament against Notre Dame in May in Louisville, Ky. [Timothy D. Easley/theACC.com via AP]