The Dan Boyle era is officially over.
While general manager Doug Wilson announced a few weeks ago that the Sharks would not be re-signing the pending unrestricted free agent defenseman, that decision has now been set in stone as San Jose has dealt Boyle's negotiating rights to the New York Islanders for a conditional 5th round pick in 2015. If Boyle signs with the Islanders, the pick becomes a fourth-round selection in 2015. If he doesn't, it remains a 5th.
Coming over in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning in July 2008, Boyle immediately established himself as the most talented defenseman to ever play for the Sharks. He leaves the franchise six years later having amassed 68 goals and 269 points in 431 regular season games along with an impressive 48 points in 62 playoff contests. He also represented the Sharks in two All-Star Games as well as the 2010 Winter Olympics where he won gold with Team Canada.
Boyle was a brilliant power play quarterback, one of the league's elite puck-movers, an out-and-out warrior and one of the greatest players in Sharks history. His decline over the past two seasons, likely fueled in part by the concussion he sustained courtesy Maxim Lapierre last October, meant the Sharks' decision not to retain him made sense but it doesn't make the goodbye any less depressing. So long, Boyler.