Fantasy Hockey Impact: Dan Boyle to the Islanders?

Dan Boyle

Taking a bit of a break from our Stanley Cup Finals coverage, we take a quick look at what happened on Long Island today. The New York Islanders acquired the rights to unrestricted free agent Dan Boyle. They gave up a fifth round conditional pick in 2015 (fourth round if they sign him). Boyle was on the fast track to the free agent market anyway but Garth Snow did go this route with Jaroslav Halak and they did ink him to a deal.

If Boyle does sign on Long Island, that will make three defensemen that are 37 or older (Lubomir Visnovsky and Radek Martinek). Please note that the other two elder defensemen could be considered injury prone to say the least. Yet the Islanders might dangle extra defense for a trade? That sounds a bit premature given the team’s injury history.

So fantasy hockey impact may be spread a little given all the dynamics involved with this move. After all, we are in the very gray area here. Again, keep in mind that Boyle may not be signed either.

Fantasy Hockey Boyle Impacto!

1. Travis Hamonic — It would be kind of a blessing and curse if Dan Boyle signed. On one hand, any fantasy power play impact Hamonic had would immediately decrease. However, Boyle can still be a heck of a mentor despite his diminished defensive skills. Keep in mind that Hamonic is only 23 years old but his first two NHL seasons were better than his last two. Something has to change and when he played top pairing ice time late in the season, the defenseman did respond with eight points in his final 16 games of the season. One OHL scout remarked, “that is one heck of a player, he needs to be a top pairing defenseman already.” If Boyle can get to play more consistently, then Hamonic may have a shot after all. If not, then Travis Hamonic, will be a stepping stone. Time will tell on that assertion but it is what it is.

2. Lubomir Visnovsky — At this stage, it is more likely to see Visnovsky hurt than healthy for a substantial part of the season. Overall, he missed 58 games as he suffered two concussions last year. In the games the defenseman did play, he had 11 points in 24 games. Add in the age along with the injury history and you have a recipe for trepidation served extra chilled. Depending on who you believe, this may be why the Islanders are trying to sign Dan Boyle. Then again it might not. Someone has to quarterback the top unit on the power play, right? RIGHT? For those that say Boyle is that much of a liability defensively, remember what those same people said about Visnovsky. Now if Visnovsky plays a sizable part of the year then the team had two power play anchors so to speak. That is rather good for their numbers across the board.

3. Griffin Reinhart — It seems the Islanders may try to give the youngster every shot at making the roster this year. Having a player like Dan Boyle in the locker room makes some sense as the Islanders seem to think his mentoring skills are solid. Boyle would likely be around for at least two years while some think guys like Visnovsky and Radek Martinek are not as long for the NHL as they say. Reinhart is only 20 ladies and gentlemen so, again, this is all about mixing the right blend of young players and veterans. Reinhart would even see a slight fantasy bump especially if he played with Boyle a little bit.


Whatever happens on Long Island, you get the feeling that Garth Snow is far from done. Buckle up Islander fans! You wanted some changes and you are certainly going to get them!

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Chris Wassel
Chris Wassel writes for XN Sports, The Hockey Writers, Dobberhockey, and many others. He is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has never turned a question away in 10+ years of writing so ask away @ChrisWasselTHW.