In the end, it might be a small price to pay for a rental who might help get the Leafs into the playoffs.
On Monday, Toronto obtained impending UFA and playoff-hardened vet Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning for minor leaguer Byron Froese and a 2017 second round draft pick.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 27, 2017
Since 2011, no one in the NHL has played more playoff games than Boyle, who has skated in 100 and has been to the Stanley Cup finals twice (with the New York Rangers in 2014 and Tampa in 2015). The 32-year-old former first round pick (26th overall by L.A. in 2003) has 15 goals and 11 assists in those 100 playoff games.
This season, the rugged center has 13 goals, nine assists and a +9 in 54 regular season contests. He has won 175 of 330 face-offs (53 percent), which should be a boon to a Leafs team sitting just on the edge of a playoff spot (they have 69 points and own the last wild card as of Monday).
Going the other way, Byron Froese has played 48 games with the Toronto Marlies this season, scoring 24 goals and 15 assists in 48 games. He has 58 games of NHL experience, all with the Leafs and has two goals and three assists.
The Leafs, who have a ton of young talent and a lot of draft picks in the next two drafts, don’t lose out at all surrendering what will probably be a mid-second round selection.