Fire up those Bozak rumors again and Zibanejad could be a real problem

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Tyler Bozak has just listed his condo for sale according to Jeff Veillette of Leafs Nation.

You can take this for what it’s worth, but the optics indicate that Bozak could be preparing for a move. On July 4th, I tweeted out the Rangers had kicked the tires on the 31 year old center and since then Larry Brooks and others have connected the two as well.

The Rangers however, may not be the favorite to land Bozak as reports out of Pittsburgh have them heavily interested also. So let’s see how this shakes out.

Growing concern over Zibanejad

Buchnevich, Kreider, Zibanejad (Getty)

As the Rangers and Mika Zibanejad both draw near the July 25th arbitration date, much of the discussion is on comparables for the the young center. Larry Brooks recently wrote about it, but one key paragraph seems to be flying under the radar with little discussion.

In the world of comparables, that should set the number around $4.8 million per for the 24-year-old Zibanejad — who, somewhat strangely, is using his half-brother, Monir Kalgoum, to represent him in his talks with the Blueshirts after leaving the powerhouse Newport Sports Agency following the season.

So this doesn’t sound alarm bells to anyone but me?

I recently spoke with a reporter in Ottawa that told me one of the big reasons to move such a highly promising young center was fear they couldn’t afford him when his contract expired. That his demands were already too high.

In addition, there is reason to believe that Zibanejad and Newport Sports were not seeing eye to eye on his value. This prompted him to ditch one of the leading sports agencies in North America and hire his half brother. Rumor has it that Zibanejad could be seeking 5.5M or more on his next contract.

Could this be heading the route of Nik Zherdhev? The Rangers actually walked away from his arbitration reward, although I doubt they would here. However, the Rangers may be forced (or have already decided) into only signing Zibanejad to a 2 year deal, which would make him a potentially very desirable UFA at its expiration.

This could get ugly.

6 comments

  • The sooner they find a center the easier the negotiations with Mika will be. He has the upper hand right now knowing how badly the Rangers need him. Jeff you need to wake up and get something done SOON.

  • Who cares if Bozak put his condo up for sale. For all we know he needs a place with larger living space since he has a 2 yr old child. Maybe he doesn’t want his child to grow up in a big city and wants to move to the suburbs. I remember living in a condo with my 9 month old daughter, quickly moved to a house out in the suburbs. Priorities change when you start having kids.

  • He’s selling his condo you say? Well then it’s official he’s coming to the Rangers and I’m running right out to buy his jersey. Lol I just had to do that. I’m more concerned with Zibanejad asking for the moon. Although I’m sure he’s asking high so he can hopefully get closer to what he really feels he should get. We have seen several long term contracts this offseason and I’m sure he would love one too. But David you say Jeff needs to wake up and get something done soon. I’m assuming you mean get that other center and take away some leveridge from Zibanejad. That only happens if he’s able to go get another center that can play top line. Getting another 3rd or 4th line center doesn’t do anything for this situation. Where is Gorton supposed to get this guy from?

    • He needs to find another center that is what i mean. Even a 3rd line center would help negotiations with Mika. I know Leafs are over on cap and they need experienced dman Holden or Staal would work and Holden would be less on cap room. Let’s see if Gorton can work some magic.

  • I’m hoping for the same thing David. That would be great for a few reasons. We could get another center and mover Holden out which would give a guy like DeAngelo a chance or Bereglazov or Graves etc. I forget too that Bozak played on the 1st or 2nd line so yeah I get what you’re saying. Let’s hope they get something done here cause right now I’m a little worried going into the season with what we have on offense.

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