The dream of trading Bozak lives on

A section of Leafs fans have been in a little bit of panic over the last couple days because the team hasn’t put a lot of its dead weight on planes out of town yet. Most notably, Tyler Bozak still hasn’t been moved, and according to Friedman yesterday, there’s a decent chance he could stick around.

That’s a scary thought since a) he should have been traded a year ago, and b) with Phil Kessel being run out of town, his value likely has nowhere to go but down. That latter point applies even if Kessel stays, since Bozak is now going on 30-years-old. 

Thankfully it appears not all is lost, and though the Leafs’ reported ask of a second-round pick may have been too steep, there’s still a chance he can be moved in the next few days.

From Darren Dreger on TSN 1050 Radio:

“I know there’s a market for Tyler Bozak. I know there is. I mean, he’s not a first line center per se – although he was a first line center in Toronto – but he’s got an affordable cap hit. And, you know, maybe what we need to do is start hammering out what’s the expected rate of return. Maybe there’s an unreasonable expectation on some of these guys.”

The price on Bozak appears to simply be too high, or at least it was over the weekend. If Shanahan and co. feel they need to move him (and they should), they may have to lower their expected return substantially. But it’s all good, since moving him out for the cap space and roster opening alone would be a win.

What the Leafs can’t let happen is the market to dry up completely, where they get saddled with the rest of Bozak’s contract and push themselves into a cap struggle or buyout situation in the next couple years. There are only three years left on the deal, but Toronto could still use that money to try some different things in the short term and perhaps accumulate additional picks on deadline deals. Bozak’s contract, as it is, hinders that.

  • SEER

    I swear a part of me dies inside every time I wake up and see that he’s still a leaf. literally trade him for anything. it’s better than him still being here with that anchor contract. he has to go bedore Phil or we’re doomed.

  • SEER

    I have a problem with this article.

    We can all agree Bozak has to go, as do others, to acquire assets.

    This article seems to praise and bash him. Says he has value yet calls him a hindrance. So why would people trade for him then, if this is how we feel?

    Its only 4.2M and we need roster players to keep those not ready down. He is entering year 2/4 at the start of the Leafs rebuild! The contract won’t saddle the Leafs and its foolish to think it has to be, or would be, bought out! He doesn’t have to be the first centre and nothing points to him being that with Babcock. He could play out the next few years behind Kadri and/or Holland, or whoever else is brought in during the next 3 seasons or less.

    • jasken

      This is a brilliant response of the false dichotomy many suffer from with Bozak and permeates through the collective fancy stats blogging and tweeting world.

      That is, Bozak is such a terrible player who we do not want on the leafs anymore. And in the next sentence, there has to be some team that would want him (because Bozak is not good enough to play on the leafs who have one of the weaker and younger center line ups in the NHL).

      For these fans, I hope babcock fully supported by Shanny continue to play Bozak as the 1C he is not this year.

  • Bleedblueandwhite

    Babcock loves his veteran – look at Dan Clearly. Babcock loves a checking forward, his 3rd and 4th lines, over the past years, have been full of these types of players. If you are responsible in the defensive zone, Babcock will play you 10-14 minutes a night. These players are not all being paid $4M per year, but there is a track record.

    So why isn’t Bozak role as the 3rd line checking and PK centerman? As least until a reasonable offer comes along – like the trade deadline?

    Do you really expect or want the Leafs to be competitive next year?

    Shouldn’t the Leafs keep Marner in London and Nylander with the Marlies for next season?

    • silentbob

      He is bigger then 5’11, not the type of the player the leafs like or want. (I’m just kidding)

      Who says they weren’t and the Oilers just made a better offer? Or what Randy said, the Bruins wanted to move him to a Western team?

    • Bleedblueandwhite

      Trade lupul and bozak together for a 2nd round pick or a prospect. A team might be willing to trade for both.
      Either that or keep Bozak and see what kind of a player he becomes under Babcock. If he excels this season then trade him when his value goes up.

    • Bleedblueandwhite

      So we give the Bruins next years 1st/2nd overall? Come on man we’ve all seen how it end’s! Don’t trade draft picks that you cant afford to give away.

    • Gary Empey

      Ex-Bruin hated by teammates?
      June 28, 2015

      According to Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris, there is more than meet the eye with Dougie Hamilton. The young defenseman appears to be a problem in the locker room.

      Per Harris, the reason the Bruins wanted to deal the up and coming star wasn’t his contractual demands, but the fact that his teammates simply don’t like him.

      It was surprising,” said one NHL assistant GM. “It’s obvious there’s something going on that we don’t know about. From what I’ve heard behind the scenes, his teammates don’t like him. I heard he’s a loner and sort of an uppity kid, and that his teammates don’t like him and it was unanimous.”

  • jasken

    There are several problems with moving Bozak you have noone who will replace him in a worse case scenario. You dont rush undeveloped young players into league for the sake of it who are not ready to play there. So if something happens another center gets injured you have noone to fill the void. Dont trade for the sake of trading.

    Bozak has high value management knows that I would love nothing better than Leafs trading Bozak to a team who can use him properly. Shanny tried to have the Leafs use Bozak properly and his snipers couldn’t finish. You think Shanny is going to give up Bozak for peanuts because he dont have a player who can 1-time effectively he wont.