Movers And Shakers – Leafs Set Price on Bozak

Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

Is everyone’s favourite first line centre on his way out of town?

This is a very, very interesting tweet on several levels. For one, apparently Toronto’s front office has taken enough time away from the Phil Kessel/Dion Phaneuf trade efforts to actually set a price on Tyler Bozak. Also, I’m a little surprised that it’s only a second round pick. Lastly, someone out there has to have a need for centre depth and a spare pick lying around, no?

Hello, Calgary!

Bozak is not a top line talent, and I’m sure the rest of the NHL knows that, but I don’t think a 2nd round pick is too high a price for an established NHL centre that can play on either of your middle two lines. Furthermore, his $4.2M cap hit for three more years isn’t unreasonable, especially compared to other bloated contracts that other teams will be trying to unload this offseason. No, Bozak isn’t cheap, but I wouldn’t call his contract an anchor either. His on-ice play on the other hand…

If anything, setting the price at a second round pick tells me that the Leafs are looking to move on from Bozak quickly. 

Calgary, as I joked about just now, could very well be a fit. They have three second round picks, a boatload of cap space, and I imagine they will look to add a couple pieces to remain competitive and push for another playoff berth. Also, Brian Burke is there, so there’s that. 

Arizona could use him for an entirely different reason, since they’re so hilariously far under the salary floor and will need to make up ground pretty quickly. They have a spare second round pick this year as well.

Ultimately, this also depends on where Tyler Bozak wants to go. He does have a limited no-trade clause that will certainly limit Toronto’s options, but isn’t so restrictive that they can’t find a way to flip him.

And if this should all go down, what does Toronto look like without Bozak in the lineup? Well, the Leafs will need to be very active on the free agent market. Without him, the Leafs’ depth down the middle consists of Nazem Kadri, Peter Holland and… who, Casey Bailey? Even for a rebuilding team, that’s not nearly enough. I’m down for letting Kadri and Holland sink-or-swim as top six centres, but there needs to be another two or three bodies behind them, too. With no help on its way from the Marlies, it looks like the Leafs will need to bring in at least a couple free agents if they do decide to part ways with Bozak.

Right now, all we got is an asking price. It’s not much, but it could be met very quickly, so stay tuned for updates. Things are certainly beginning to heat up with about 48 hours remaining until the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and it appears Toronto is trying pretty hard to add more picks to its cache. 

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    • SEER

      The only mistake will be keeping him and his bad attitude and lazy work habits.
      I know it seems cruel and harsh that everyone’s favorite players have to go but this is a burn it to the ground rebuild, you’re either on board or you want another 48 years of mediocrity, disappointment and crap!

        • CMpuck

          I would trade Kadri as well however it appears they are working on a 2 year bridge deal before making a long term commitment. If they have to pay him more than 4.5 I’d rather have Soderberg.
          Kadri, 2 years, 9 million, if he thrives then he gets hi 5 year 30 million, if not flip him next draft day

  • Ajwl27

    As both a die hard leaf and flame fan. The flames have way way to many centers, many of which, are as good if not better than, bozak. Bad idea. That being sad, they need defence depth, so roman polack might be an option.

  • Gary Empey

    If Bozak is on the chopping block it will be mostly because of his age. 29. He would now be a better fit for an team not in the rebuilding stage. As for the #2 back, it is probably fair. Even though most second rounders don’t make to the NHL, there are some notable exceptions.

  • Brooksterman

    This is dumb. Why trade Bozak and then sign a C from the UFA heap. Unless they have a plan to acquire a C from somewhere and or they think that one of Willie, or “the other Conner” are ready, you might as well keep him, flip him at the trade deadline when someone has a C go down, and need a backup/plan B. Even if we trade for a bonifide 1C, there is no law that say Bozak has to play on the top line. In a rebuild, Kadri can do the job of a 1C, until help arrives. Then you put either Bozak or Holland Or Willie at the 2C or 3C, but I don’t see Holland ever being a 1C. If its the 31-33 over all pick, then I think about it.

    • Brooksterman

      Bad attitude, poor work ethic, pouting that he is not the #1 centre especially after his best bud is traded?
      When Bozak started his career, he was a personable young man who made himself available to reporters, was one of the last off the ice at practices, etc. now he is a surly whiner who is always second off the ice at practice
      (Guess who is first?) when he should be working on his game to get better or isn’t 4+ million a year motivation? How about pride? After they fired Carlyle, most games he didn’t show up!
      That’s why we need to trade him NOW!

      • Brooksterman

        In contrast to my earlier comment. The whole team needs to be traded. After they fired the coach the only player that looked like he gave a damn was Booth, and that’s sad. All you say is true about Bozie, but what UFA are you going to sign that will be as good or better and at the same or less money? You tell me, I can’t see any.

        • Brooksterman

          We don’t need a centre as good as Bozie. Trade Bozak to get future assets and trust that Hunter is as good a talent evaluator as advertised. Then sign a UFA coming off a down year to a 1 year deal (like they did with Booth, Winnik, Santorelli, and Raymond) so that you don’t have to force a Marlie centre into the lineup before they’re ready, and then if they have a decent year trade them at the deadline for more picks. Leafs want to finish bottom 5 again next year and Bozak on the team doesn’t help that just like Kessel and Phaneuf don’t help that. A rebuilding team’s job is to acquire as many draft picks and prospects as possible and trading vets like Bozak will accomplish that. Plus if they trade Bozak maybe his best buddy Kessel may be more likely to waive his no trade clause to go to a team not on his list.

        • Brooksterman

          Carl Soderberg, give him 3 years 4.5-5 million per. He is a big body with good hands. Was Bostons second leading scorer at even strength and he did it on the third line. He is a prototypical “Babcock” type player who will set a good example for the kids. I. 2 years his contract will be a bargain then you flip him at deadline for top prospects or picks

  • CMpuck

    Just putting this out there, but everyone on a bad team is guilty of having a “bad attitude”

    It sure is funny how when teams are winning (the leafs included) you don’t hear about it.

    • CMpuck

      Sometimes, but not everyone on a bad team gives up. Every Leaf that “threw in the towel” game after game last season is gone. I can’t think of more than 5 players who deserve to continue wearing the sweater.

  • Komarov47_

    I just find it funny when I see comments saying to keep all these core guys because they help in shootouts, or offensively….. have you been living under a rock over the last 3-5 months? the plan is to ship out guys for picks and prospects, and REBUILD. were supposed to get worse. that’s the point of trading guys like Bozak and Phil etc.

    • SEER

      Are we asking for a draft pick for every letter on his name before “O”?
      Florida would laugh it that proposal, I would settle for Floridas 2nd and a tune up for our Zambonis… And a snow cone

  • SEER

    My guess would be, that Byron Froese moves up from the Marlies… Some of you may not realize this.., but Komarov is also a Center.. and pretty darn good on the draw…

    That would give us: Kadri, Komarov, Holland, Froese & Carrick.., with Nylander, Manderson and Ryan Rupert as possible call-up subs. I doubt very much we see many temporary, new, hired hands…

    The Marlies will have Carter Verhaeghe and Gauthier added for 2015-16, so they will have an abundance of Centers…