Accomplished Canadian defenseman Dan Boyle will be hitting the ice as a member of Canada’s 2010 Olympic ice hockey team this February. This is not the first time he has proudly sported a red and white jersey though. Playing for Miami University from 1994-98, Boyle worked hard during his time as a RedHawk.
“I was 170 pounds when I got there,” Boyle said, who is 5’11” and now weighs 190 pounds.
Boyle currently plays for the San Jose Sharks, where he has been for the past two years.
In regard to how he worked toward a shot at the National Hockey League (NHL) at Miami, Boyle said, “I had to get in the weight room and get more prepared. I had to practice a lot and work on my skills.”
Since leaving Miami, Boyle has played in the NHL for 12 years and has worked with determination toward his goals on both the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lighting, where he accomplished his biggest goal of all.
“My big dream was to win the Stanley Cup and I actually did that,” Boyle said.
In 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who he played for at the time, won the Stanley Cup.
“That was a dream come true,” Boyle said. “It was amazing.”
Barry Schutte, senior director of recreational auxiliaries at the Goggin Ice Arena, said, “As a program, Miami tries to teach these guys life skills to be successful, not only at Miami but also after. I think he’s used his experience with Miami to help catapult him to the success he’s had today.”
Schutte, who graduated from Miami in 1997, played with Boyle for three years. He said since Boyle has been busy, he’s only been back to Miami once or twice since graduating. Boyle was unable to come to campus when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 and although there is no date set as of now, Miami hopes he will return to receive his recognition this year.
One thing for certain is the pressure will be on as Boyle hits the ice in Canada next month.
“There’s a lot of pressure for the hockey team,” Boyle said. “It’s the sport that all Canadians will be watching.”
Boyle’s routine which includes watching what he eats, working out about six times a week in the off season, and practicing or playing essentially every day proves he is truly disciplined.
“It’s a great thing for the program there’s no doubt about it,” said Chris Bergeron, Miami’s assistant hockey coach. “For players, it gives them something to shoot for. It shows what players from the past have accomplished and what current players can do in the future. I do think that more and more guys have a goal to play at the highest level possible.”
Boyle said he still knows a couple of Miami’s coaches and checks up on the team in the newspaper.
“As a team, you never grow up and think your going to see your teammate on the TV playing for another country – it’s very cool,” Schutte said of his former teammate. “He’s worked very hard and is family-oriented. His morals, values and beliefs coincide with the brotherhood that (Enrico) Blasi is trying to install in our players here.”
Boyle said playing in the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I think for most athletes, the Olympics is the big stage,” Boyle said. “You get to play for your country.”