The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly on the verge of bolstering their playoff hopes with the addition of veteran centre Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Leafs are working to complete a trade with the Lightning that would send the eight-year NHL veteran and penalty-killing specialist to the Leafs. There was no report on what the Leafs would send back in return.
The Leafs have been linked to Boyle in recent days, ahead of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Boyle, 32, was drafted 23th overall by the Kings in 2003 and played with the Rangers before spending the last three years with Tampa. He has 13 goals and nine assists in 54 games with Tampa this season.
With the Leafs lagging in faceoff performance — Tyler Bozak is injured, and Ben Smith has trailed off since a hand injury several weeks ago — there has been a need to upgrade in that area. Boyle has won 53 per cent of faceoffs this season, and 50 per cent in his career. Smith may be the odd man out if the Boyle deal is completed.
In other Leafs news, rookie sensation Mitch Marner — out the past five games with a shoulder injury — practised with the team in San Jose on Monday and is expected to face the Sharks Tuesday night.
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