Tampa Bay Lightning Trade Brian Boyle To Toronto Maple Leafs

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t done making moves just yet as we head towards the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline.

It’s been under 24 hours since the Bolts Nation felt the first sting of the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline as the Tampa Bay Lightning traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, and draft picks. Now, the Lightning fans will have to learn to deal with a whole other loss.

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced in a press release just moments ago the team has traded Lightning forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Leafs forward Byron Froese and a conditional second round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

It has been our experience over the course of the last few years Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman has made some questionable decisions, but they have almost always been for the betterment of the team. Unfortunately, this one makes little to no sense from where we’re sitting.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Brian Boyle is one of the most versatile players on the team. When the Lightning first started having injury issues this season, Boyle was one of the first people to step up and take on additional responsibility. He can play all three forward positions with ease as well as take up arms on the defensive side of things.

You will be hard-pressed to find a player like Brian Boyle anywhere else in the National Hockey League. While not an impossible feat, it would definitely take some serious work.

In his last five games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boyle has brought home a goal and two assists. These points all came in the course of three nights starting on February 11th against the Winnipeg Jets and ending on February 19 against the Colorado Avalanche.

The 32-year-old Hingham, Massachusetts native has played in a total of 54 games so far this season. In this amount of time, he has brought home 13 goals and nine assists for a total of 22 points. These are definitely solid numbers for a guy who usually seals up the third or fourth line.

On the other side of the ice, Bryon Froese has played in a whole two games with the Maple Leafs this season. Unfortunately, much like some of the other prospects who have made their way into the main roster this season, his time in Leafs country did not translate to the scoresheet.

More From Bolts By The Bay: Ben Bishop Traded To LA Kings

At the same time, Froese has been having a heck of a season with the Maple Leafs American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. In the 48 games he’s played with the Marlies this season, Froese has scored 24 goals and 15 assists for a total of 39 points to go along with a plus-9 rating.

Right now, Froese is first place on the team in both goals and overall points. According to the press release, Byron Froese will be assigned to the Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. This could prove to be a solid acquisition for the Crunch, who are currently first place in the North Division and headed for a solid postseason run.

It has definitely been a disappointing 24 hours for Tampa Bay Lightning fans. Trades are a regular part of the business of hockey, but that doesn’t make watching your favorite players make their way to new homes any less painful.

Next: Lightning Recall Adam Erne, Yanni Gourde From Crunch

No matter what happens between now and the NHL Trade Deadline, we here at Bolts By The Bay would like to wish Brian Boyle and his family a very fond farewell. You will certainly be missed, not only on the ice, but for the many contributions you have made to the Tampa Bay community. Good luck in Toronto.