Mar 11, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner (51) holds San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle (22) as he tries to control the puck behind Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Free Agency: Could The Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Dan Boyle?

The Toronto Maple Leafs might get some defensive reinforcements if some reports are to be believed. Dan Boyle, recently acquired by the New York Islanders, apparently has the Maple Leafs on his list of teams he would be interested in going to, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. It looks unlikely that Boyle wants to sign with the Islanders so he will more than likely hit unrestricted free agency on July 1.

Boyle would certainly be an asset to the Leafs. He might be nearing the end of his career, but it seems that he is one of the players that can continue to play at a high level until he retires. His experience would also help guide the Leafs’ young defensemen like Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner and any other prospects that make the team. If the Leafs hang on to Dion Phaneuf, bringing in Boyle would take some of the pressure off of Phaneuf.

The only problem is how much he will cost to bring in. Dreger mentions that Boyle wants a two-year deal but the money might be out of the Leafs’ price range. If the Leafs were to bring in Boyle, they would definitely have to shed some salary, probably Phaneuf’s $7 million.

There is not that many players in the free agent pool that will be making a big difference on their next team. Boyle is among the best available and the fact that he might be interested in coming to Toronto is almost shocking after the season they had. Boyle would give the Leafs defense instant credibility, which they desperately need. Hopefully the Leafs can get this done.

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