Born July 12, 1976 (age 35) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Defenseman and alternate captain for the San Jose Sharks
I recently got this fella’s card in a booster pack of hockey cards and figured I’d start trying to learn about some of the less familiar faces now in my collection. Better yet, Boyle played four years of college hockey at Miami University (my parents’ alma mater)! He went undrafted, though, and was signed as a free agent by Florida in 1998. For the first two years, he was with the Panthers’ AHL-level affiliates, which were the Kentucky Thoroughblades and then the Louisville Panthers. He went up to the big Panthers in 2000-01, but the next year he was traded upstate to Tampa Bay. His first season with the Lightning was good, so they resigned him. He was even part of the 2004 Stanley Cup champion team before the lockout! For the year that never was, he went over to Sweden and played in the Elitserien. Once the big show returned, he continued to produce, netting his first hat trick against the Rangers in a just-before-Christmas 2006 bout.
2007 was not very good for Boyle. After a preseason game, a skate slipped off the skate-hanging hooks in his locker and severed three tendons in his left wrist. He had one surgery and tried to come back, but he needed further repairs and missed 36 games. His full comeback didn’t come until January 2008, although he made a splash in his return, scoring two goals. He had his contract extended for six years soon thereafter. However, Tampa Bay changed ownership and soon Boyle was gone, traded to San Jose after pressure to waive his no-trade clause or else be waived. Familiarity with some of the Sharks led Boyle to pick this option and it looks to have been a good one as he led all team d-men in scoring that first season there. While he had a little whoopsie in a 2010 playoffs game where he scored an own goal (in an attempt to ring the puck around the net, Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly deflected it past Evgeni Nabokov), the Sharks still won that series.
2010 also saw Boyle represent Team Canada in the Olympics. As seen above, he took home some hardware! 2010-11 was a 50 points in 76 games season for him (all but 9 of those points assists), plus a little over an hour of penalty time. This time in San Jose’s playoffs run, there were no whoopsies to my knowledge, just 18 games played, 4 goals, 12 assists and 8 penalty minutes. He’s already done very well at racking up the assists halfway through this season and I do think we’ll get to see the Sharks make another run for the Cup this year. Who knows how far?