Checking my email is a daily item on my mental checklist. However, I received an email early Monday morning with the title “**MEDIA ADVISORY** SAN JOSE SHARKS PRESS CONFERENCE” and I knew I had to open it right away. I didn’t have time to read the entire message, but I saw the headline, which mentioned that defenseman Dan Boyle would make an announcement regarding the future of his hockey career.
Clearly, this meant Boyle was going to formally announce his retirement. My jaw dropped even thought I completely understood why he decided to retire, and if I’m not mistaken, he should’ve retired a few years ago. He completed 17 seasons in the NHL, six of which he spent in San Jose.
Boyle played in 1,093 NHL games with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers, scoring 605 points (163 goals, 442 assists) and 693 penalty minutes. He was a member of Tampa Bay’s 2004 Stanley Cup winning team and appeared in 130 Stanley Cup Playoff games, adding 81 points (17 goals, 64 assists).
Boyle was one of my favorite Sharks players of all-time. He was just an all-around good guy who was a family man who never forgot where he came from. He was an undrafted player who faced adversity to eventually achieve his ultimate goal of playing in the NHL.
Between 2002-03 (Boyle’s first full season with Tampa Bay) and 2013-14 (Boyle’s last season with San Jose), only Niklas Lidstrom produced more points (516) than Boyle (502) and only Zdeno Chara (145) and Shea Weber (131) scored more goals (129) amongst all NHL defensemen.
Amongst all-time NHL defensemen, Boyle finishes 35th in overall scoring, 31st in goals and 38th in assists. His 72 power play goals ranks T-29th all-time and his 2,231 shots in 36th among all NHL blueliners.
“Today, I would like to formally announce my retirement from the National Hockey League,” said Boyle. “I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to do what I most love to do. All I wanted to do as a young boy was have the opportunity to play one game in the NHL. Over a thousand games later, this whole experience seems surreal. I want to thank all four organizations for the opportunity, my teammates and the fans for this amazing run that I will cherish forever.”
I had to have the last word in the live broadcast of Boyle’s press conference. I asked him if he had any career goals in the near future.
“I don’t have anything yet,” Boyle responded. “I’m just going to come home and spend time with my family. . .Today, I see my life as an empty canvas.”
Thank you, Dan Boyle. All the best in your retirement.