Time for a rant.
Before the trade deadline in February, the yet-to-be-installed owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie of the Tampa Bay Lightning were chiming in on what GM Jay Feaster needed to do regarding player movement and contracts. Among the top priorities: get Dan Boyle signed to a long-term deal, pay him handsomely, and heck, throw in a no-trade clause. The message was clear Boyle was to remain in Tampa.
Barely four months later, the ink is still drying on the paperwork which puts Koules and Barrie in an official capacity, and the pair is looking to dump the offensive defenseman. Rumors have been running rampant for the past week or so, and despite all the denials by team management about the desire to trade Boyle, the defenseman has stepped forward to say he's been asked to waive his no-trade clause.
Like a couple of spoiled kids, it appears Koules and Barrie would rather get the newest, shiniest player in the lineup, than use the one they locked up months ago. That can't be a good feeling for Boyle.
This may be misconstrued as an attack on the Tampa Bay Lightning, but they aren't the only guilty party. Ottawa confronted Wade Redden a couple of times last season to waive his clause. Toronto tried to get several of its players -- including (but not limited to) Mats Sundin, Pavel Kubina and Bryan McCabe -- to do the same without any success just before the trade deadline. The Leafs are still nagging Bryan McCabe to waive his clause.
Redden moved on to New York City, Kubina played himself back into the good graces of the Leafs and Sundin has the opportunity to explore his options with other teams. But for Boyle and McCabe, it has to be pretty awful to realize the front office would rather see them gone than on the ice, for whatever reason, and only they can make it happen.
I guess it is kind of ironic this post comes a day after applauding the Detroit Red Wings for how the organization treats its players. The actions of Tampa Bay and Toronto are a complete 180-degree turn from those of Detroit, and maybe that's why success has been fleeting for those franchises in recent years.
Call it well-deserved karma from the hockey gods.