Bad Signing Loses Primary Reasoning

There’s a grocery list of reasons to not like Tyler Bozak being in Toronto for five more years at 4.2 million dollars per. He’s nearly incapable of scoring without Phil Kessel, the penalty kill improved when he was given fewer minutes, his possession stats below average, his faceoff advantage is negligible at best, he’s the least productive player on his line by a mile, he’s the least productive top-end faceoff taker in the league, he quantifiably has less chemistry with Kessel than the bulk of the competing Leafs centres over the years and several defencemen, and he cut his hair. I could keep going, but that’s for another day.

Lets look on the bright side today. They kept Phil Kessel’s best friend! After all, it doesn’t matter how good you are if you keep the star player happy, right? Pay the man what he wants and let objectively better players go to stay under the salary cap. You’re happy to have your best friend on the team back, right Phil? 

As Mikhail Grabovski would say,… [expletive]

  • I don’t think that Jeff is suggesting the Leafs should have kept MacArthur because he’s Kessel’s friend. I think the assertion is that keeping Bozak in part because he’s perceived to be Kessel’s best bud is a stupid way to build a hockey team.

    They should have kept MacArthur because he’s a damn good hockey player.

    • millzy09

      Yeah that’s what I pulled from it. Signing Bozak was good at 3m. I liked to think in my own little world that the extra they are paying him is to help hold onto Kessel…

      • Bozak may have some value at a little less than that. I think he’s an above-average 3C, but there’s limited proof of that.

        I would have taken him off the Leafs because he’s married to Kessel on the first line, which drags down the production of that entire unit. It’s just time for them to move on.

    • Jeremy Ian

      I agree. There are more pieces in play than this one line.

      I also think this issue is getting as worn out as my grandfather’s suit. It’s done. We aren’t adding any more data or analysis. Yes, he’s overpriced given his skill set. But this is hardly the end of the world. The irony is that the JVR-Bozak-Kessel line is going to allow the Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson line to be mighty impressive. If Kessel was bracing himself to chock up big numbers in a contract year, and if the speculation that signing Bozak was all about keeping Kessel happy is right, then this was not the most strategically savvy move.

      One question might be: how do the Leafs top 2 lines fare against Detroit and Ottawa’s new makeup?

  • Lucius

    Isn’t it time we give the Bozak bashing a rest? Let’s look on the bright side. He hasn’t peaked as a players yet, just really entering his 4th full season now, he does a lot of good things both offensively and defensively. He will be replaced as 1C by Kadri probably within the next couple of seasons. Bozak as a 2C at around $4M per is pretty good

  • Lucius

    I love Kessel and all but he is not worth 12M (his 7.5M contract + Bozak 4.25M who he has to carry).

    Further, at this point, I think Kessel should be dealt because he doesn’t understand that Bozak is not good at hockey as measured by Corsi. And the guy lets friendship get in the way of winning.

    Fire Nonis.
    Fire Bozak.
    Fire Kessel.
    Fire Carlyle.
    Fire Everyone.

  • jasken

    Keeping Bozak obviously had more to do with a particular need then friendship. I am sure he’s happy to still be playing with Bozak, why wouldn’t he Bozak lets him do all the things he likes. Not going say other centers dont yeah actually I am.

    What does this tell you “Phil wants the puck all the time and I think he’s got Bozie in his back pocket with that right now,” Wilson said. “That’s smart of Phil to do that – you want to play with somebody who’s going to give you the puck all the time. That’s right now the most compatible player for him to play with.”

    Seems to me Kessel has issues with his centers resentment on giving him the puck all the time. Lets blame Bozak, that works its all Bozak’s fault like everything else that is happening with the Leafs.

  • jasken

    Because that was the primary reason for the signing. Dave Nonis said so! Right. No bias at all. Because advanced stats tell you everything.

    Dude you can’t even watch these basic clips without forgetting any and all objectivity.

    And apparently, you’ve chosen Grabovski (he of 16 points in 48 games but oh possession!) as the hill your credibility will die on.

    What. A. Joke.

  • Jeremy Ian

    *If* Leaf management has even the slightest idea that signing Bozak would have Kessel resigning at any sort of a discount, they’re dreaming. He will be asking for, at the very least, 8 million when the time comes. If the Leafs don’t want to give it to him, fine, another team will be more than happy to roll out that red carpet.

    Judging from his most recent comments, and how easily he moved on from his former teams in the past, it’s looking more and more likely that 2013-2014 will be his last year as a Leaf. It’s not a knock on him as the TO media put Kessel through the ringer since almost the first day of his arrival. I’m not cracking out the violin for the guy either as I believe some of that was his fault, but I believe that any human being in his position is getting tired of the constant scrutiny of being a Maple Leaf 24/7. That, and as a highly paid American citizen, I don’t see why he would have any emotional connection to being a Leaf, as well as living any longer in Canada with the taxes as high as they are. I’m no insider and actually hop this isn’t the case. But if it is (and I think it is), I hope the management is trying to plan on moving forward as a team without him.

    Sorry for the long post. This isn’t anything new from what other poster’s have suggested in the past, just had to get it out, ha.

    Great Blog.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Do you realize the Kessel-Bozak combination makes as much as..
    1-Kane and Sharp
    2-Toews and Hossa
    3-Malkin and Neal….That sucks..
    PS..Second video, That is one Gorgeous person, and Jessica doesn’t look bad either.