Dan Boyle close to returning. Chicago scouting Boyle and Campbell.

According to a few sources, Dan Boyle is very close to returning. Interestingly, the Hawks are rumored to be searching for a PP specialist, and Boyle and Campbell have been mentioned as likely candidates given that both are UFAs next season.

The Blackhawks are supposedly dangling the likes of winger Tuomo Ruutu and young defenseman Cam Barker as trade bait. Not a bad return indeed!

Personally, I doubt Buffalo pulls another brain fart and fails to re-sign Campbell. However, I believe he said he was finished negotiating with the Sabres over an extension, an action that may force management to trade him and ensure they get something in return for him, rather than letting him walk and getting nothing in return like they saw with Briere and Drury. One almost has to feel sorry for Buffalo and their team’s ridiculous, idiotic ‘policy’ of not negotiating during the season, something they reversed this year after it totally screwed them last year (and the consequences are still being felt this year and will for years to come).

As for Boyle, there’s been tons of speculation that one of the Big Four in TB (Lecavalier, Richards, St.Louis and Boyle) will be traded following the Lightning’s abysmal half-season performance (which has all but guaranteed they won’t be sneaking back into the playoffs again). The Hawks would indeed be a good fit for him, and if they offered Tuomo Ruuto and Cam Barker, there may be reason for the Lightning to take that offer. If they did acquire Ruutu, I could see one of Lecavalier or Richards getting dealt as well, as Ruutu “should” theoretically be a 2nd line center. I could see Phoenix, Columbus or even Colorado targeting Richards.