Today at San Jose’s SAP Center, defenseman Dan Boyle is expected to announce his retirement after a 17-year NHL career. Considering that Boyle won his sole Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, I find it touching that he chose to announce his retirement with the San Jose Sharks’ organization. The Miami University of Ohio graduate played for the Sharks, Lightning, Florida Panthers, and New York Rangers, and won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2010.
While I tend to empathize with the game’s shutdown defensemen most, Boyle’s offensive skill made him a threat on both ends of the ice. Take the 2013 goal cited by most Sharks devotees, where Boyle zoomed through Minnesota Wild defenders to score. (I happened to attend this particular game. I remember being dazzled by the goal, but also feeling a little bad for former Shark Torrey Mitchell, who was on the ice for the goal-against. Mitchell, of course, has highlight reel goals of his own, but that’s another post entirely):
Boyle’s dry humor and candid demeanor made him a fan favorite, and a frequent star of the Sharks’ TV commercials. Here’s one from 2009:
This is my favorite alternate version of the notorious “Movie Usher” commercial from 2011:
While post-retirement life must be an unnerving prospect for any athlete, I have no doubt that Dan Boyle will thrive. He enjoyed an impressive NHL stint without having been drafted, and bounced back from daunting challenges (including a house fire during the 2004 Stanley Cup Final and a truly brutal on-ice hit from the Blues’ Maxim LaPierre in 2013) throughout his career. In any case, best of luck to Dan Boyle!