Report: The Rangers Have Interest in Tyler Bozak

Phil might want to start looking for a new roommate.

It looks as if the Leafs aren’t quite done working the phones yet. Toronto has already shipped out their three most obvious trade pieces in Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik. And while we’ve heard some rumblings about the possibility of Roman Polak and Joffrey Lupul being dealt as well, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is saying that the New York Rangers could be interested in acquiring Tyler Bozak.

The above tweet from the Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg is just about the best we can do right now. McKenzie’s remarks were aired on NBCSN’s NHL Live, and it doesn’t look like a clip is available yet. We will update this post if one does surface.

The difficulty for the Rangers in acquiring a player like Bozak comes from their complicated cap situation. New York doesn’t have a whole lot of money to spend, and Bozak makes $4.2M per year for three more seasons. But let’s also remember that this late in the year, and with every day that passes until the deadline, Bozak becomes cheaper (as more of his contract is paid off by the Leafs) and the Rangers’ cap space grows. 

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that, with a roster piece coming back, the Rangers could fit Bozak under their cap. And going forward, not resigning a player like Mats Zuccarello would provide the Blueshirts with the cash they need to pay Bozak.

So let’s say that somehow, the Rangers can afford Bozak. What’s coming back?

Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote a couple weeks back that the Rangers could reasonably part with either a second round pick or 21-year old J.T. Miller in a deal for Mike Santorelli. Brooks referred to Miller as the Rangers’ “lone expendable young gun… but only because of his inability to generate trust from coach Alain Vigneault, to whom every one of the 21-year-old’s mistakes is one mistake too many.”

Miller was drafted by the Rangers in the first round, 15th overall, in 2011. He’s split this year between New York (five goals, 13 points in 35 games) and AHL Hartford (six goals, 15 points in 18 games). 

While Miller would certainly be a nice piece for the rebuilding Leafs to add, he alone wouldn’t be enough for Bozak. 

I mean, hey, we’re talking about Number One Centre Tyler Bozak here.

If the Rangers were to throw in a pick, perhaps either their own or Tampa Bay’s 2015 second round selection (acquired in the Ryan Callahan trade), we’re getting a lot closer to fair value. And remember that, for the Leafs, beyond any pick or prospect, clearing that kind of cash owed to Bozak over the next few years has significant value in itself.

  • Jeremy Ian

    going to be interesting. Way I see it – once bozak is gone, only time will tell when Kessel is to (they are bro’ski’s). Then again, never know. I believe we should move on with him. Many of the core I feel just break down.

  • Jeremy Ian

    I was under the impression the Leafs will be doing a full rebuild. In which case wouldn’t retaining Bozak’s salary be a good move if it nets extra assets?

    I think he still has three years left right? Isn’t that how long this rebuild should take?

    If Bozak can net Miller and a second that’s a good deal.

  • STAN

    Just because Sather thought Miller was a better bet than, say, Brandon Saad who was taken in he next round, doesn’t mean much. BUT, he’s got good size at 6’1″ and more than 200 pounds and at 21 would fit in nicely with the young core.

    If you can also get a second rounder while ridding yourself of $4.2M per season for three seasons… do it in a heartbeat.

    • BIGM27

      I think it would be one or the other in that deal. Doubt Duclair and Miller come back, unless we were to give up on the 2nd round pick.

      I think realistically it would be more like this though:

      Rangers get: Bozak and a 4th round pick

      Leafs get: Duclair and Miller

      I would take that return in a heartbeat. I think both Miller and Duclair would be opening the 2015 season with the Leafs.

      • BIGM27

        This could only happen if Glen Sather suffers brain trauma immediately.

        It takes two young guys from the Rangers, does not address the salary cap issue the Rangers have this year, and handicaps them in later years. It means they lose Zuccarello next year because his salary is now Bozak’s.

        It would be a horrible, horrible deal for the Rangers.

  • BIGM27

    “I mean, hey, we’re talking about Number One Centre Tyler Bozak here.”

    Haha love it.

    Number One Centre Tyler Bozak has always reminded me of Number One Centre Matt Stajan.

  • BIGM27

    I think Miller and a 2nd in 2015 would be great value for Bozak. Bozak’s numbers were inflated early due to his PP production. His even strength numbers are “meh”. I also think that Miller has been buried on the Rangers, and has put up good numbers in the AHL, and is putting up reasonable numbers at the NHL level given his line assignments. I think he could be a solid NHL 2nd liner.

  • This Duclair stuff is insane. They’re not getting Duclair in a deal with Bozak.

    My feelings have been that the best asset we’d get for someone like Bozak is the cap space. I don’t necessarily think we need a prospect back and I’d take a 2nd or 3rd rounder alone. He’s overpaid and an average NHL player. Just avoid retaining salary.

    First center or not, the Leafs need to move players because cap space will be their most important commodity in future years. Boston, Chicago, LA will be pressed against the cap and you need to be there with space to hoover up some good talent.