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Trade of Dan Boyle looks even worse for Tampa Bay Lightning

The passing of Wednesday's trade deadline added another chapter to the book that can be written about last summer's deal that sent Dan Boyle to the Sharks.

We're into chapter three or four, depending on how one counts these things, but the story is not getting better for the Lightning, which, with 16 games left, already is guaranteed an unhappy ending.

See if you can follow this:

Tampa Bay traded Boyle, one of the game's best puck-moving defensemen, and defenseman Brad Lukowich for defenseman Matt Carle, defensive prospect Ty Wishart, a 2009 first-round draft choice and a 2010 fourth-round choice. Carle was a bust, so it traded him to the Flyers for Steve Eminger, minor-leaguer Steve Downie and a 2009 fourth-round pick.

But Tampa Bay decided it could not afford to re-sign Eminger as an arbitration case, so he was shipped to the Panthers for defenseman Noah Welch and a 2009 third-round choice, though there is a sense Eminger could return if he is not made a qualifying offer.

The Lightning will say disposing of Boyle's six-year, $40 million contract allowed it to trade and pay for defenseman Andrej Meszaros. But it gave the Senators defensemen Filip Kuba and Alex Picard and the Boyle deal's first-round pick to acquire Meszaros' rights.

So, what is Tampa Bay's net from the Boyle trade?

Meszaros, who had two goals before his season ended with a shoulder injury; Downie, a good, grinding player but a candidate for anger-management classes; Wishart, who shows promise but is not NHL ready; Welch, who could not crack Florida's top six; and a couple of draft choices. There was payroll flexibility, but Tampa Bay's transition game never recovered.

What did the Sharks get? Fourteen goals, 45 points and an average 24:21 of ice time entering Saturday.

Trade of Dan Boyle looks even worse for Tampa Bay Lightning 03/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 7, 2009 8:39pm]
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