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03-09-2011, 12:19 AM
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Dan Boyle, D

After I lost out on all the elite PP QBs (they were all gone before my 2nd pick even came around), this pick here was marked for the guy who would QB my PP. The three guys in mind were Rafalski, Boyle, and an undrafted. Ultimately decided on Boyle over the undrafted for the same reason he was picked for the Olympics - the other guy might have been slightly better on the PP, but Boyle is more solid overall.

Boyle is solidly in the range of "second tier" powerplay quarterbacks, and like I said, all the first tier guys were picked before I even got to make my second selection (except perhaps Gonchar who isn't as good as the true 1st tier guys but is better than the 2nd tiers).

Boyle is a solid-enough all-round player to make a very credible #4 at even strength if need be. I don't see why guys like Reinhart and Persson go over Boyle anymore. I think he's comparable to them on the PP, and more effective at even strength.

And most importantly, recent history has shown - Dan Boyle just helps teams win games.

The Resume

-Norris voting record: 4th (2007), 5th (2009), 6th (2010), ? (2011)
-Second Team All Star in 2007, 2009
-All Star Games in 2009, 2011
-Right handed shot on the PP

Since Boyle's breakout season in 2002-03, these are the top scorers among defensemen:

1. Lidstrom 474
2. Gonchar 408
3. Boyle 385
4. XXX 375
5. Rafalski 373
6. Niedermayer 357

Brief Synopsis of his Career

-Boyle emerged as a legit offensive threat from the blueline in 2002-03, scoring 53 points in 77 games, good enough for 5th among defensemen, behind MacInnis, Gonchar, Lidstrom, and Zubov.

-In 2003-04, Boyle's offense took a step back, but he improved defensively quite a bit. He was the primary puck mover on Tampa Bay's Cup winning team. Joe Pelletier felt that Boyle was "the straw that stirred Tampa Bay's drink."

-In 2005-06 and 2006-07 were two more solid seasons for Boyle in Tampa Bay, as he continued to be excellent offensively, while playing decently well defensively. Tampa Bay as a team was fairly mediocre in these years though.

-In 2007-08, Boyle had a freak injury, cutting his arm badly with a skate blade. Tampa Bay went from mediocre to horrendous, and Boyle struggled to get his defensive game back when he returned.

-Tampa Bay traded Boyle to San Jose before 08-09. Boyle made a huge impact on the team, immediately after joining. San Jose went from one of the better teams in the league, to a team that for all intents and purposes clinched the President's Trophy with months left in the season. Media reports widely credited the acquisition of Boyle with making San Jose just that much better. I really hope I don't need to post sources for something that recent do I?

-San Jose failed in the playoffs, but I don't think you can blame Boyle, who has 18 points in 21 playoff games with San Jose over 2 seasons.

-Boyle was selected by Steve Yzerman to QB Canada's PP in the 2010 Olympics, mainly because he was better defensively than the other guy (and thus not a liability at even strength).

This is what Joe Pelleter said about Boyle when he picked his Team Canada prior to the 2009-10 season:

4. Dan Boyle - I just love Dan Boyle's game. He's almost a Niedermayer clone. I am not seeing the down side. I always felt he was the straw that stirred the drink in Tampa, and he can be counted on to be an impact player for Team Canada.
Decent longevity as an impact player by now

Sure, Boyle has his 2 2nd Team All-Star selections. I think we all know that AS teams are less reliable post-expansion as writers rely more on stats and less on watching guys play (because there are too many teams to watch everyone a lot). But I think we all see that Boyle developed into a solid all-round impact player.

Anyway, the final question about Boyle (and any active player): Did he play long enough to be worthy of his spot (in this case, a #4 defenseman)? I think he has.

-Leo Reise, Jr. and Glen Harmon were the last 2 defensemen with 2 2nd Team All Star nods to be selected before Boyle.

-Not including Reise's 6 games played in 45-46, he has 8 full seasons as an NHL defenseman.

-Glen Harmon basically has 8 1/2 seasons as an NHL defenseman.

-Dan Boyle is working on his 10th season as an full time NHL defenseman (not including 2 seasons with a handful of games for Florida at the beginning of his career).

-Boyle is working on his 8th full season since his breakout year in 2002-03.

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