Sharks Spotlight: Dan Boyle


Sharks Spotlight: Dan Boyle

Editor's note: Over the next month, Sharks Insider Kevin Kurz and Postgame Live reporter Brodie Brazil will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.

Sharks spotlight -- the seriesSharks spotlight: Dan BoyleAge: 35 DIn his fourth season with the Sharks, defenseman Dan Boylehad nine goals and 39 assists for 48 points and 57 penalty minutes. He waseighth in the league in scoring among defensemen, and second in shots (252).Boyle led the Sharks in ice time, at more than 25 minutes per game. In fiveplayoff games, Boyle was scoreless with two assists and two penalty minutes.Kurz says: Boyle may be on the down slope of his career, buthe was still arguably the Sharks best defenseman again this season. It was aninauspicious start for the veteran this year, when he struggled mightily forthe first month-and-a-half, but he later revealed he was playing through abroken foot. After recovering, Boyle regained his foot speed and skatingability and resembled the player Sharks fans were used to seeing since he wasacquired from Tampa Bay before the 2008-09 season. Boyle is still a key memberon the Sharks power play, too, finishing with 17 points on that second-rankedunit.SLIDESHOW: Grading the Sharks
Brodie says: Throughthe first 27 games of the season, Boyle had only a single goal. At one point, I even found him shortening allof his sticks an inch, because he had unknowingly been playing with a newerbatch that was mistakenly longer. Thatcould have been what was ailing Boyle or maybe, it was his broken foot!! Yeah, Boyle played through that broken foot for asignificant early portion of the season.I dont think he intended to ever let the information go public, butaccidentally let it slip on a postgame radio interview with Jamie Baker. The bottom line, it goes to show that forsomething you know, there is always something else you may not.Boyle was a longtime partner with Douglas Murray in the lastfew seasons but skated alongside Marc Edouard Vlasic from mid-December throughthe rest of the campaign. No doubt this was San Joses top defensive pair whenthe season mattered most: Boyle with the offensive mindset, and Vlasic enjoyingone of his best defensive seasons yet. 2012-13 expectationsKurz says: Boyle is one of several players considered to bein the Sharks aging core group, and may also be the most tradable. Accordingto, Boyle has a limited no-trade clause that expires on July 1,when he can name 10 teams that he would not play for. While Boyle would bringback a decent return, as defensemen of his caliber and skill set are hard tofind and there is a limited free agent market, losing him would leave a gapinghole on the San Jose blue line.If Boyle returns, he should still have plenty of gas left inthe tank to be an effective player for at least another couple seasons. If hedoesnt, the Sharks had better find a top-notch talent to replace him, as theydont have the body or bodies to fill that void internally.RELATED: Boyle stats splits game logs
Brodie says: Boyle will be 36 when next season starts,and although there is an inevitable decline in potential with age: I just dontthink he is there yet. Boyle may not bethe fastest skater or have the strongest blast from the point, but counters itby playing a smart and responsible game.The one concern regarding Boyle, might be his minutes. Last season he again led San Jose, and was 7thamong ALL NHL players at 25:34 TOIgame.That is 2:25 more than the next closest teammate (Vlasic). The Sharks certainly benefited from Danscontributions and often needed him for large portions of games. It is not at all to suggest 1-2 minutes beshaved off that average as a demotion.Instead, a curiosity if you would actually get even more from Boyle inthe long term by keeping him just slightly fresher. On a personal note, Dan is one of the best sources when I amtrying to get a feel of the player perspective on topics. Sharks fans that watch enough interviews knowthat Boyle is refreshingly open and honest in front of a microphone. As a Stanley Cup winner and Olympic Goldmedalist, he has credentials that come with great insights: and is one ofseveral Sharks I could consider for best interview on the team. Up next: Michal Handzus

Mailbag: Which Sharks player is most likely to be traded?


Mailbag: Which Sharks player is most likely to be traded?

No one asked, but I’m going to begin this week’s mailbag with my prediction for the Stanley Cup Final – Preds in six. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to a few of your questions…

Most likely to be moved this off-season? (Nik @niknisj25)

If the Sharks do make a move – and I’ve argued here that I think it may be time for a shakeup – they’ll surely be looking for someone up front to boost the offense. In that case, they’d likely have to sacrifice a defenseman or two.

The Sharks defense is the strength of the organization at the moment, as they had one of the best one-through-seven groups in the NHL this season. But it’s also an expensive one. The Sharks have nearly $27 million committed to their top seven defensemen next season, while Marc-Edouard Vlasic is due for a hefty raise beginning in 2018-19.

One name that could be intriguing to other teams is Justin Braun. The 30-year-old has been a part of the Sharks’ top shut down pair with Vlasic for several seasons now, and is signed for the next three years at a reasonable $3.8 million cap hit. The Sharks could potentially move him for offensive help, and slot in a guy like David Schlemko alongside Vlasic, while finally giving Dylan DeMelo a chance to play on a nightly basis on the third pair. A Vlasic-Schlemko pair could be more offensive than Vlasic-Braun, too, because as adept as they were at keeping the puck out of their own net, the Sharks didn’t get many goals from their defenders outside of Burns.

Of course, the upcoming expansion draft all but assures that nothing will happen until Las Vegas selects its team on June 21. If the Sharks lose a defenseman to the Golden Knights, they’ll be more reluctant to move another one. Still, with guys like Joakim Ryan, Tim Heed, Julius Bergman, Mirco Mueller and now Radim Simek in the pipeline, the club might be able to handle a couple departures.

How do we fix the power play next season? Bring in a coach that could help us? Change up the lines, or style of play? (adam smith @kickback408)

One thing that won’t be happening is a new coach, as Doug Wilson recently confirmed that Steve Spott would be back alongside Pete DeBoer. Bob Boughner could move on if he gets hired as a head coach elsewhere, but Boughner’s focus is the team’s defense and penalty kill.

Obviously, the future of the power play depends on who is on the roster, beginning with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Both saw their power play production dip this season.

Thornton went from 29 power play points in 2015-16 to 19 this season (he had eight power play goals in 2015-16, and just one this season). Marleau saw a decline from 25 power play points in 2015-16 to 16 last season. Even if both return, it may be time to try other bodies on the top unit.

Do you see Meier, Labanc and/or Sorensen having a breakout season next year? Or anyone else on the Barracuda? (Colin Dunn @ColinDunnACA)

Someone better had, because this team needs to start getting younger, and soon. One of the bigger disappointments of the 2016-17 season is that none of them apparently showed the coaching staff that they were prepared to play on a nightly basis at the NHL level.

Timo Meier and Marcus Sorensen, I would surmise, are at the top of the depth chart as far as forwards go. Their line in the playoffs with center Chris Tierney was the Sharks’ best through the early part of the series with Edmonton. As for Kevin Labanc, I think he’s fallen a bit since he had a brief run of success for the Sharks in December.

While the Sharks did a good job stockpiling some young players through the 2013-15 drafts, they’ve traded away a number of picks in recent years. In last year’s draft they didn’t have a first or third round pick; this year they don’t have any picks in the second, third or fourth rounds; and in 2018 they are already without their second and third round picks. 

It’s great to accumulate young players, but at some point they have to break through. Now is the time.

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

Sharks, Robinson parting ways after five seasons

After five seasons with the Sharks, Larry Robinson is leaving the organization.

Robinson, 65, spent the last three seasons as the club's director of player development. He served as an associate coach from 2012-14.

TSN in Montreal and the Montreal Gazette originally reported the news.

The Sharks confirmed that Robinson's contract would be expiring, and general manager Doug Wilson told NBC Sports California that the divorce was amicable, and "because of geography." Robinson lives in Florida.

According to the Montreal Gazette

Robinson’s contract with the Sharks expires on July 1, but agent Donnie Cape said Thursday that San Jose general manager Doug Wilson has given him permission to speak with other teams. Robinson lives in Bradenton, Fla., and the long travel distance to San Jose is one of big the reasons he’s looking for a new team to work for.

Robinson seemed to ponder retirement in 2014, but signed a three-year extension to remain in the Sharks' front office. He worked mostly from his home in Florida the past two seasons, making occasional trips to San Jose, including during training camp.

In the summer of 2015, Robinson underwent surgery for skin cancer.

Recognized as one of the best defensemen in NHL history, Robinson won six Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens as a player, and holds the NHL record for playing 20 straight seasons in the playoffs. A 10-time All-Star and two-time Norris Trophy winner, Robinson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robinson was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 1995-99, and the New Jersey Devils from 1999-2002 and again in 2005-06. He led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2000. Robinson has nine Stanley Cup rings as a player and coach.

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The Sharks did not renew the contract of pro scout Jason Rowe, who had been with the organization for the past nine seasons. Rowe focused on eastern NHL and AHL teams.