What Brian Boyle Brings to the Leafs

Brian Boyle has gone from wearing blue and white to, well, the original blue and white.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have picked up some depth at center with the acquisition of Boyle. After not expecting to be very busy at the Trade Deadline, it looks like Leafs management decided to give their team some backup. In return, the Leafs sent the highest of the three second-round picks they own in this draft as well as prospect Byron Froese.

This will leave the Leafs with only one second-round pick as the middle pick will go to the Dallas Stars. That pick was originally traded to the Anaheim Ducks in the Frederik Andersen trade. It was sent to Dallas in order to acquire Patrick Eaves.

Froese has spent most of this season with the Toronto Marlies, scoring 24 goals while adding 15 assists for a total of 39 points in 48 games. He spent the majority of last season up with the Maple Leafs but only had two goals and three assists in 56 games. He had zero points in two games with the Leafs this season.

As mentioned, the Leafs weren’t expected to be very busy at this year’s deadline. However, as Yahoo Sport’s Greg Wyshynski points out, the Leafs earned this acquisition with their play.

Adding Playoff Experience

The Leafs sit in the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. However, they are only five points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens with the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins between them. Missing the playoffs is a possibility, but the Leafs are looking to give their young players some playoff experience. Adding a player like Boyle, another character player who can mentor the rookies, will help them achieve that goal.

The 32-year-old Boyle will join his fourth NHL team, having previously played for the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. He will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and it’s uncertain whether the Leafs will try to re-sign him but that will probably be determined by how he plays down the stretch. He seems to be the perfect fourth-line center that can move up the lineup if needed. This also likely takes Ben Smith out of the lineup, something that will make a lot of Leafs fans happy.


Boyle has played 54 games this season with the Lightning, scoring 13 goals and adding nine assists for a total of 22 points. He will join the Leafs as they face off against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. If the Leafs can make the playoffs, having a player that has gone to two Stanley Cup Finals in the past four years will be beneficial.

Will the Maple Leafs make any more moves before Wednesday’s deadline? Will Boyle remain with the Leafs longer than just the rest of the season? We’ll have to wait to find out.