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Trade Coverage

Brian Boyle traded to Maple Leafs by Lightning

Forward has played in 100 Stanley Cup Playoff games; Tampa Bay gets 2017 second-round pick, prospect

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

TORONTO -- Brian Boyle took his afternoon nap on Monday, preparing to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Ottawa Senators at Amalie Arena. Instead, he was awoken by a phone call informing him that he had been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for center Byron Froese and a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Boyle is hoping to join the Maple Leafs in time for their game at the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, SNO, NHL.TV).

"It's interesting when you get woken up from a nap expecting to play and you're no longer with that club," Boyle said. "It's definitely a feeling I haven't had yet as a player in this league, but I'm pretty sure most people have gone through it. It's a lot of different things; do I start packing a bag, do I take a shower? It's different."

Boyle, 32, is in the final season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $2 million, according to He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"We're very thankful for what Tampa Bay has done for us," Boyle said. "We've enjoyed it. We were close to [my wife's parents] when we were down here. It's always going to hold a special place in our hearts. But that being said, it's not very fair to talk about [the future]. I'm on a new team with high aspirations and I think that's really, really exciting."

Having played in Toronto as a visitor throughout his career, Boyle said he was always struck by the passion and excitement of the crowd at Air Canada Centre.

"I'm really looking forward to Toronto. Playing there as a visitor is always tremendously exciting," Boyle said. "That buzz that goes around the game, just the game itself, the knowledge they all have up there of the game and what's going on around the League, that passion for it is something I'm excited to experience."

Video: Maple Leafs acquire Brian Boyle from Lightning

The acquisition of Boyle adds a wealth of postseason experience to a roster largely untested in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has participated in the playoffs in six different seasons and has 15 goals and 11 assists in 100 postseason games and helped the New York Rangers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and the Lightning in 2015. Prior to acquiring Boyle, defenseman Roman Polak was the Maple Leafs' most tenured playoff player (49 games).

Toronto (28-20-13) currently holds the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Islanders. The Maple Leafs are one point back of the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division.

"The potential and the opportunity is there, and I think the skill level is for sure there," Boyle said. "Post-trade deadline last year when they started playing some of those younger guys, they were a tough team to play against then and then obviously this year as well, they're just going to keep getting better and better with the coaching staff they have there. I think it's just a great opportunity."

Boyle played against the Maple Leafs on Feb. 29, 2016, when Zach Hyman, William Nylander and Nikita Soshnikov made their NHL debuts in a 2-1 Lightning win. Adding rookie forwards Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner this season has only left Boyle more impressed.

"It's going to be very exciting, what those guys can do," Boyle said. "They're spoken very highly of within the organization obviously, so that's impressive. The whole team as a unit is a good group of guys from what I've heard, and the character there. That's a big aspect in terms of when things get tough in the playoffs, sticking together and fighting through some uncomfortable times."

Boyle had 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 54 games for the Lightning this season, and has won 53.0 percent of his faceoffs. In 10 NHL seasons with the Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Rangers, he has 166 points (93 goals, 73 assists) in 603 regular-season games. Boyle was selected by the Kings in the first round (No. 26) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

The second-round pick acquired by the Lightning will be the highest second-round pick between the Maple Leafs' selection or previously acquired second-round picks from the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators.

Froese, 25, has two shots on goal and five penalty minutes in two NHL games this season. He led Toronto of the American Hockey League with 24 goals and 39 point in 48 games. He has been sent to Syracuse of the AHL.

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