San Jose Sharks Defenseman Dan Boyle has voiced his thoughts and opinions regarding the potential NHL lockout. When asked if he was surprised the NHL has not made more of an effort to engage the players union in labor talks, Boyle said, “No, I’m not. The information I’ve gotten is [the NHL is] saying they want to negotiate, but everything we’re hearing is the complete opposite.” “I think they want us to miss some paychecks, is what I think. For them, I guess they figure they don’t have to pay us right now, so they’ve got nothing to gain by settling this thing.”
As a leader, Boyle’s most affective method of communication is to be blunt and direct as in his quotes above. Boyle is an excellent hockey player and leader for the Sharks. Defensemen of his caliber are difficult to find at any age. The San Jose Sharks will continue to compete for Lord Stanley’s cup as long as they have their top defenseman wearing Teal.
Boyle may be 36 years old, but he is still a rock solid top line defensemen and quarterback of the power-play. His attention to detail and excellent fundamentals allow him to compete against the best in world even though he’s clearly lost a step due to age.
With the potential NHL lockout looming, countless NHL players are playing overseas. However, that is not the case with Boyle. His decision to skip playing elsewhere is probably a huge relief to the San Jose Sharks management team as they need him to be fresh and at his best if the season takes place.
Boyle had a down season last year (by his standards) where he put up 9 goals and 39 assists for a total of 48 points. This kind of production from the blue line is hard to find. Boyle’s 48 points were 8th highest for NHL defensemen last season.
However, Boyle does more than score points for the San Jose Sharks. He is a veteran who provides critical leadership to keep this focused, which is evident from his +/- rating of +10 and outspoken nature.
Nick Domanico is the Bay Area Editor for Sports Out West and is also a contributor to Yahoo! Sports. For more on all Bay Area sports, follow him on Twitter @NickDomanico.