Nov 29, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak (42) during their game against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Capitals 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Well it looks as if there are some new rumours floating involving the Toronto Maple Leafs, really did you expect any less this offseason? It appears that despite the team not being able to move their 29-year old center Tyler Bozak thus far in the summer, two teams seem to be showing a good little bit of interest in the Leafs first line forward. According to a post by HockeyBuzz, it appears that both the New Jersey Devils and St Louis Blues have Bozak in their sights. Could this be true? If true, what does each team expect to get from the addition of ‘Bozie’?
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It would not surprise me if the Devils are actively seeking Bozak’s services. Despite the Leafs being in the Atlantic division and the Devils in the Metropolitan, Bozak squared off against the teams comprising the Metropolitan division a total of 24 times last season, putting up a nice tally of 8 goals and 8 assists in the process (6 of the 16 points stemmed from the powerplay). So with this being said, Bozak is quite familiar with the teams that oppose the the Devils in their division. The Devils do have the cap space, currently sits at $14,016,668, to take on Bozak’s $4.2 million salary (possible that the Leafs retain some),but I see a problem with a logjam at center on the team. Currently, the Devils roster six natural centers and it would be puzzling to cut developing youngster Jacob Josefson out of the mix. However, with Lou Lamoriello now part of the Blue & White and given his strong ties with the Devils organization, I wouldn’t balk at the possibility of this trade.
As far as the Blues are concerned, I don’t see them making a big play for Bozak. They have a limited cap space of $1,724,166 as it stands right now, and to me have their roster set in stone after making some questionable moves this summer. They could try to flip Troy Brouwer or Steve Ott who will both be UFAs after this upcoming season and some sort of combination of pick(s)/prospect(s) but I think that would harm their depth if they are strongly committed to making a heavy Cup push this season. Bozak could offer depth to the Blues, I just don’t see the two sides reaching a mutually beneficial deal.
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It all remains heresay until the trigger is pulled, but Bozak does ultimately have something to offer each potential suitor, and maybe these rumours will spark interest from other clubs as well. Putting up 23 goals and 49 points last season on a bad Leafs squad is nothing to look over, and 49 points in 58 games across the 2013-2014 season looks even better. Having only suited up for the Leafs at the pro level, could Bozak be in for a change of scenery sooner rather than later?
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