Tyler Bozak re-signs in Toronto for five years

Cam Charron
July 05 2013 11:51AM

Two awful deals signed today by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and we'll get into each of them individually. We'll start with Tyler Bozak, and without mincing words, we will come out and say it. Tyler Bozak is awful. He is a player mis-cast as a first line centreman, and because the narrative was repeated by everybody in the media except for James Mirtle and Bruce Arthur, people started to believe that Bozak was this important aspect of the Leafs playoff run when he was really little more than a passenger.

And he's a Leaf again.

This is an overpayment for the player that has held back Phil Kessel on offence for the last four seasons. He does not actually win any more faceoffs than an average centreman would. He is an absolute drain on Toronto's offence, and was lucky enough to be around the same fall that Phil Kessel made his debut with the Leafs.

This is an absolute disaster, and the fact that the Leafs have given Bozak money and have given David Clarkson term is an indication that Dave Nonis has no idea what he is doing. I hate citing anonymous sources, but I am told that a Leafs executive interviewed a SABRist about doing some statistical work for the team. Not only did the Leafs not think that it was worth it to have a researcher on staff, but the Leafs executive didn't seem to have a clue what the interviewee was talking about.

It's just how it goes at MLSE. They'll make money for life, and there's no reason to get better. You don't go to the Toronto Maple Leafs because you're a dedicated and curious person who is looking to help bring a Stanley Cup to Toronto, you go to the Toronto Maple Leafs because you are an ex-hockey guy who wants to sit around with other ex-hockey games.

So the Leafs haven't exactly given any thought to the idea that Bozak is a strain on the team. The Leafs bought out a good centreman named Mikhail Grabovski and replaced him with Tyler Bozak.

There are no more words left. The Leafs didn't think about this, the Leafs don't seem to think about anything. I didn't want to pass judgment on Dave Nonis' tenure until it was more than a year old, but he's doing what he's expected to do and nothing more. What a boring man, who is going to put together a boring team that will win very few games next year.

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#1 robocop
July 05 2013, 12:05PM
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His buyout cap hit is $1.4 mil a year for ten years. We will probably be eating that soon.

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#2 Matt
July 05 2013, 12:09PM
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Nonis has taken a team on the verge of greatness and sent it back out to wander the desert for another decade.

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#3 Mironovs_Nose
July 05 2013, 12:11PM
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Cam - I think you're being too positive about this. Between Carlyle player usage last season and Nonis' moves this offseason it's become near impossible to be a Leaf fan.

Can't wait until they trade Gardiner for an experienced physical d-man who's great at clearing the net but not strong with the puck.

Screw the Leafs.

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#4 robocop
July 05 2013, 12:11PM
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In a season Nonis has made three moves worse than anything Burke ever did.

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#5 SolidJoel
July 05 2013, 12:14PM
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Couldn't agree more.... How can they not see that fact that Bozak turns over the puck and never recovers possession. Unbelievable........incompetence.

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#6 Badger M
July 05 2013, 12:15PM
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I'm laughing. Today literally could not have gone any worse.

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#7 m@
July 05 2013, 12:25PM
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Weiss better be next... and I'll take Bozak as a 2nd line C.

This whole "the sky is falling" theme is getting old. Say all you want about him... other teams were interested - the way Cam explains it 1/3 of the GM's in the NHL "have no idea what they're doing".

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#8 leaferfan
July 05 2013, 12:46PM
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If you people hate the leafs so much then go find another team to cheer for. This is bordering on trolling. Bozak has some value to the team. He is not an ineffective "turd" worthy player. I would prefer Grabbo but come one please a little objectivity and quite skewing everything with negativity on the leafs moves.

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#9 MaxPower417
July 05 2013, 12:53PM
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If that anonymous source is accurate and the Leafs organization really don't have any stats guys...

Wow. Just wow. Working in the office must be like working in a time machine.

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#10 millzy09
July 05 2013, 12:55PM
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Yikes pretty harsh. I can actually stomach the Bozak deal. 4.25 isn't all that bad for a second line center, assuming Kadri takes the reins for 1c. I was really concerned about 8 yrs OR 5.5m and the Leafs didn't come close to giving in to either. One thing you can bank on, Kessel is MUCH more likely to re-sign and that is a big deal. Two important points here.

1. Bozak is realistically worth probably 3.5 at 4 years. Leafs are essentially paying 750k and 1 yr extra for a usable player to re-sign Kessel long term.

2. Leafs have saved 1.25m and given up 1 year between Bozak/Grabo. Although I'd rather have Grabo, I really don't see this as all bad.

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#11 Badger M
July 05 2013, 12:57PM
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@millzy09

@DownGoesBrown: RE: Bozak signing keeping Kessel happy: I coach six-year-olds in t-ball who can get over not playing on the same team as their best friends.

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#12 millzy09
July 05 2013, 01:19PM
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@Badger M

So what's your point? Kessel should be shipped out because he's more comfortable and happy to stay if his best friend is there? Sure I'd prefer if it was a non-issue and it very well could be, but it helps and I'd rather see Kessel stick around.

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#13 jasken
July 05 2013, 05:03PM
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My view on this was simple they were gonna try to sign Bozak anyways they bought out Grabovski to sign Clarkson. As I told other Leaf fans who I associate with every day I reserve judgment on young players until they have atleast 4 yrs experience in the league usually players take that long to actually really be any good in NHL they make or break in 5th year or sooner. He made to 5th yr. What I expect from Bozak if he is played on topline is no less the 60+ pts this season. His learning curve is over I gave him the benefit of doubt, as he had no mentor and very little development after College was thrust into a position out of need.

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#14 Steve
July 05 2013, 06:05PM
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I wrote some stuff about what happened today. Cam, I quoted you. Everything I really wanted to say you said already.

http://nwontario.blogspot.ca/2013/07/willful-ignorance.html

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#15 Dave
July 05 2013, 09:54PM
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@leaferfan

Being critical of your team does not make you any less of a fan. The problem with the Bozak signing is that it means he will receive top line minutes, once again stunting the production of players like Kessel and Lupul. You do not even need to resort to fancystats to see that Bozak is mediocre offensively, and the problem is that his spot on the roster is more or less set in stone for 5 years.

Bozak is a third line center getting top six minutes, and however you want to look at the situation the Leafs overpaid and overtenured marginal talent.

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#16 jasken
July 05 2013, 10:49PM
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Dave wrote:

Being critical of your team does not make you any less of a fan. The problem with the Bozak signing is that it means he will receive top line minutes, once again stunting the production of players like Kessel and Lupul. You do not even need to resort to fancystats to see that Bozak is mediocre offensively, and the problem is that his spot on the roster is more or less set in stone for 5 years.

Bozak is a third line center getting top six minutes, and however you want to look at the situation the Leafs overpaid and overtenured marginal talent.

So what does that make Brad Richards did he stunt Gaborik or Nash I am curious his 24 mil for 100 pts the last 2 seasons is kinda oops worse thing is I predicted this would happen when he signed. So Bozak who got 75 pts in 2 seasons is not a 1 center and Richards who got 100 pts is. Bozak had Kessel yada yada yada Richards had Gaborik then Gaborik and Nash and now just Nash. I am suppose to believe 21 mil is worth 25pts for 2 season difference between *cough* elite and 3rd line center. Dont compare Zajac to Bozak as the point difference is 3pts and zajac makes 5 mil+ a season

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