TAMPA -- After signing forward Ryan Callahan to a new contract and picking up defenseman Anton Stralman in free agency, the signing of center Brian Boyle did not get the big headlines for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
However, the value of the 6-foot-7, 244-pound forward was well known in the locker room, and Boyle's versatility and leadership has proven to be crucial to the Lightning's success in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boyle was one of the players who spoke to the team before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. His experience on the ice and leadership in the locker room makes him revered by teammates.
"We appreciate everything Brian brings to this team," Callahan said. "He's one of the best teammates you can have. He plays the game the right way and he's an important part of what we do here."