Dan Boyle had some thunder for the Lightning last night.
Speaking to Sun Media mere hours after being officially traded to the Sharks, the ex-Tampa defenceman accused his former organization of lying to him and maintained "no matter what business you are in, this is no way to treat a person."
Though Boyle, who will turn 32 next week, is thrilled to get a chance to go to San Jose, along with teammate Brad Lukowich in exchange for defenceman Matt Carle, prospect Ty Wishart, a No. 1 pick in 2009 and a No. 4 pick in 2010, he's not the least bit pleased with new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
"I'm (bleeping) pissed off," said Boyle, an Ottawa native, who is in town on vacation. "As recently as three or four days ago, I was told (he was going to be a centrepiece for the organization). I was in contact with them through the course of the summer and there was never any indications I wasn't going to be part of this.
"I'm pretty fired up here. Let me be honest: I understand it's a business and these guys are going to do it the way they want to do it. I'm okay with that. I've been traded before. But there is a way to conduct business, there's a way to respect your players and there's a way to do things. This was a complete uppercut. It came out of nowhere. I was even laughing about some of the rumours because I was pretty much told up until a few days ago they were just a joke. I was completely floored. When you're told one thing and blindsided by another, you're going to be pissed off."
Boyle said he was pushed into waiving his no-trade clause after a member of Bolts management told him if he didn't agree to a trade, he'd be put on waivers and would likely have been claimed by the Thrashers.
"There's a hundred different ways this could have gone down. I was under the impression I was a piece of the puzzle," said Boyle. "I just can't believe they'd tell me one thing and do another. (That's) where it took a turn for me, when things got personal. Business is business. My personal characteristics and my work ethic were called into question.
"I've been a top guy in ice time the last few years. They call my work ethic into question? I work out to be in the best shape possible and things about me were questioned. It got to the point where my ass was threatened to be put on waivers and I was going to be picked up by a last-place team that wouldn't win for the next six years. You tell me, is that any way to do (bleeping) business?
"That's when it turned for me. When I started being threatened, that was it for me. When it got personal, I decided I was done. I feel bad because I loved Tampa and I fought to the bitter end to stay there, but when you get threatened to be put on waivers, you have to make a decision that's best for you and your family."
Boyle revealed he did speak with the Senators and would have welcomed the opportunity to come back to Ottawa, but admitted GM Bryan Murray just didn't feel the organization could take on his six-year, $39-million US contract.
"We were in contact with Ottawa. I have nothing bad to say. It was a business decision on their part," said Boyle. "The idea of coming back home to play was attractive to me. I just wanted the chance to go to a team that has a chance to win a Stanley Cup and that's how I narrowed down my choices."
TALKED TO THORNTON
Boyle said San Jose captain Joe Thornton had already called to welcome him to the organization and he'd had a nice discussion with GM Doug Wilson.
"I've heard nothing but good things about Doug Wilson. I've spoken to him and Joe Thornton. It was nice to hear that Rob Blake was really excited to come to San Jose," said Boyle.
Lukowich, a 10-year NHL veteran joining his fifth team, had one goal and six assists during 59 games in his return to Tampa Bay.
"The West is a little bit more rough and tough, so I think it's good fit for me," Lukowich said. "Being on different (championship) teams and seeing how it's done, it just gives you more awareness of what it takes to win. If I can bring that knowledge from getting passed around the league to get (San Jose) over that little bubble, that's a start for me."