So, there was Lightning right wing Marty St. Louis on one side of the SAP Center on Thursday, praising his former teammate Dan Boyle, who was sitting in the Sharks locker room after the morning skate talking up St. Louis.
St. Louis and Boyle were teammates on Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup team. St. Louis recalled how Boyle was such "a big part of our defense." Boyle, asked about St. Louis playing his 1,000th game Tuesday at Los Angeles, said, "He'll be in the Hall of Fame for sure, and he deserves it."
It was quite a mutual admiration society as the players could not say enough good things about each other.
"I respect him so much," Boyle said of St. Louis. "His accomplishments speak for themselves. He's an amazing hockey player. To see what he's doing still is not surprising to me because I know how hard he works. He's just awesome."
Boyle was traded with Brad Lukowich from the Lightning to the Sharks in July 2008 for Matt Carle, Ty Wishart a 2009 first-round pick and a 2010 fourth-round pick. Said St. Louis: "That was a tough transaction to see happen, especially for a guy like myself who was on the inside and knew how much he meant to the team and my game, So, yeah, we've missed him for many years."
"The thing about Boyler was he was really tough to play against defensively, too," St. Louis added. "He's not a big guy but he's annoying in the corners. he has quick hands and his stick is always there, and he digs. he makes it hard on opponents, no doubt."
Both said they see a lot of themselves in the other. Neither was drafted, both played in college, both are undersized (St. Louis is 5 feet 7, Boyle is listed at 5-11), and as St. Louis said, "(Boyle) probably doesn't like to admit it but we're close to the same age."
St. Louis, who went to the University of Vermont, is 38. Boyle, who went to Miami (Ohio), is 37.
"We both played college hockey. We both had to fight a little bit to get in, especially at a time where there wasn't small players in the league," St. Louis said. "For Boyler it probably was tougher playing defense. There wasn't many small players. He might have been one of the guys that helped the trend to bring speedy, puck-moving defensemen that can battle you defensively as well. He's definitely one of the best, I think."
Added Boyle: "We're both fierce competitors who had to fight to get where we are."