The latest on trading for Tyler Bozak

Since the Rangers traded away Derek Stepan and lost Oscar Lindberg to expansion, it was clear GM, Jeff Gorton was going to have to address this via free agency or trade. When the move was done to bring in David Desharnais, Lindberg was essentially replaced. Then rumors of moving J.T. Miller to center were squashed by Alain Vigneault who doesn't see him there yet. Now, Mika Zibanejad has been re-signed for 5 years but a huge hole exists and a need to bring in one more center persists.

The Interest In Bozak Goes Back 2 Years

Dating back to the 2015 trade deadline, Bozak has been linked to the Rangers. Insider, Bob McKenzie was the biggest name reporting it, and it likely fell through due to cap constraints. Bozak's ability to win face-offs (career 53.6%) and play substantial minutes (career TOIA 18:50) made Bozak a fit then and now. He's a decent scorer with a career points per game average of .62, which is perfect for a 2nd line center.

Where We Are Today

FullTilt Rangers first learned of the Blueshirt's rekindled interest in Bozak on July 4th. We stated that Nick Holden was also a potential key piece in moving to Toronto as well. Since then, Larry Brooks and some others have mentioned Bozak as a potential fit.

It should also be known that the rumor mill does not only have the Rangers as a potential trade partner. Rumors out of Pittsburgh have Olli Maatta for Bozak as a potential swap. Problem there is that it doesn't help Toronto's cap concerns.

Bozak makes 4.2M and the Rangers have just over 3M in space. How to make room you say? Well per Brooks we learned that the Blueshirts are looking to trade Holden and his 1.65M contract for a center. That is enough to fit Bozak for sure but doesn't leave much breathing room for adding a 13th forward or in season emergency call ups.

Earlier today, we were able to reconfirm that the Rangers were once again focusing on acquiring Bozak from Toronto. Now that Zibanejad is settled it makes sense.

Howard Berger who has been covering the Leafs for over a decade has been stating that they've been working on something for awhile. This was also tweeted today.

There's simply is too much smoke to ignore now.

Marc Staal Buyout

While there is discussion within the organization, we've learned it's a pretty heated debate. I would be totally shocked if the Rangers go this route considering it's 8 years of dead cap space and an average hit of 6M for the next three years.

However, if you are thinking win now that additional 3+ million in space gives you flexibility to add maybe 2 more pieces. Rumors about a Jaromir Jagr return or adding UFA, Alex Chiasson are being floated about. As a side note, Chiasson played college hockey for BU and the Rangers love college players from Boston.

Will It All Go Down?

We are just a blog…I get it. Everyone here though really appreciates the loyal readership we have and none of us have the connections of the top hockey insiders. That being said, many of us have been doing this for awhile and have fostered some decent relationship. The truth is we don't know with any certainties if this does get done. Like all the insiders say, they are just rumors until a deal is announced.

What we have learned by reaching out is that trading for Bozak is more than likely to happen. As of right now, we think something goes down with the Rangers very soon.

If we're right, many will say we got lucky (again)…but if we are wrong, I'm sure we will never hear the end of it. No matter what…thanks for reading us always.


  • The Staal buyout is an interesting debate. For me it depends on regardless of contract, does management feel that they can insert two rookie defenseman to play better than Staal. There is already 1 rookie assuming its DeAngelo that makes the lineup, has Day/Poink/Bereglazov given them a reason to think they can play everyday. If they have then buyout Staal, if they havent then dont.

    As for the Dead Space of buying out Staal, while his buyout cap hit is stuck, the amount of cap hit for his and Girardis is combined is year 1 4.7mil, year 2 5.7mil, year 3 6.7mil, year 4 5mil, years 5/6 2.5mil, years 7/8 1.4mil. While those are high amounts its better than years 1-3 11.2million and year 4 5.7 even when adding in their replacement dmen on ELCs there is extra available cap space.

    Other than buying Staal out the only way to rid him from us is find a team that would take his salary (that he would go to) by giving up a top young player like Buch or trade him with salary retained. I feel like if the second was an option they would have done that already. Should be interesting what they do.

  • I can’t see them buying out Staal. That’s too much Dead cap space at least for the first 4 years. I’m sure they could live with the last 4 years though. It just sucks cause I would really love to see some of these young kids come up and play instead of watching Staal stand still with the puck waiting to get it taken away or turned over. I wish they would just tell a Staal he’s gonna be sitting so wave your NTC and then trade him with retaining some salary

    • Jpcar7,

      If they retained the full amount allowed (50%) it would be 2.85 per year for the four year is the best option, however Im not sure if there is a team that would take him for 4 years at that price tag. I also feel like they have looked into that and if that option was available it would have been done already.

      I understand the dead space concept but if not buyout then its 5.7 in unmovable cap space. Its not like we save anything from banishing him to Hartford like we did with Redden. The kids contracts they replace him with would bring the amount saved when a vet gets sent down.

      So the next 4 years you either have 5.7 or you have cap hit by years 2.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.9, followed by 4 years at 1.4( those 4 years we agree are nothing). Looking back at retaining full amount year by retaining salary in a trade 2.85 mil would be 700k less cap room year 1/2, wed save 300k year 3, and save a 1.05 year 4(which is the year Girardis buyout drops to 1.1). To me its splitting hairs on buyout and trade while retaining salary. Plus a team may want an asset to take him while retaining salary because of how bad his contract is. Everyone says but Tampa signed Girardi for more then they could have gotten if we retained salary, they only signed 2 years not 3 that could have been the deal breaker for Yzerman and Staal has 4 years left. While its not ideal for the next 4 years, it is an extra 3.6, 3.6, 2.6, 1.8 per year, then they have today with him on the roster

      If the kids are ready, I would much prefer for them to get in the lineup. If they arent then wait out the year see how they progress and then make the decision next year.

      • Kris,
        I get your point. Part of me says just buy him out and get it over with but I also wonder if it’s gonna hurt us in another way. Let’s say DeAngelo gets a spot on the 3rd pair. Is it gonna be safe to bring up a prospect to play with him? He’s only played 39 NHL games himself. It’s just something to think about. This all depends on whether or not there’s prospects ready to play in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a few go in a trade at some point anyway.

        One thing though Kris, when you gave the numbers on the first 4 years of a buy out wasn’t that just for Staal? I thought the buy out numbers for both contracts was somewhere around 4.7 mill or even more for some of the years. That’s the part that makes me say they won’t buy out Staal.
        The killer to me is that it was t that long ago that Girardi n Staal were good solid D men and a big part of our success and now we can’t get rid of them fast enough.

        • jpcar7 I believe you’re right, the numbers he gave were for Staal’s buyout and not combining Girardi’s when talking about dead space. I believe the combined dead cap space for those two range from 5.7-6.1 over the next 3 years.

          • Mike that’s what I thought. To me that’s an awe full OT of money to just throw out every year for 3 or 4 years and then continue to throw more money away for another 4 or 5 years. Is he really that bad that we should have around 6 mill against our cap? He should be much better with a good partner and on the 3rd pair. Plus he actually wasn’t bad for a while last year so maybe if he gets some rest and we put in our 7th D man once in a while. All this talk we’re doing all depends on AV anyway. I’ve always supported him but he does get me frustrated at times with his defensive desicions.

  • Thanks Tony, but I respectfully disagree that Desharnis essentially replaces Lindberg.

  • The deal needs to go down as Holden & a second round pick for Bozak and leafs hold back 1.5m on Bozak 4.2 making the deal work so we don’t have to yet buy out another dam contract!!!!

  • Tyler Bozak? A guy who couldn’t get more than 49 points in a year with James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel on his wings. I DO NOT understand the love affair with guys who score 40 points for this franchise. And do people forget that the Leafs aren’t in a cap situation because Nathan Horton and Joffrey Lupul will likely go on the LTIR, which will provide Toronto with considerable relief once the season begins. If you are the Leafs who would you rather have Nick Holden or Olli Maata? A 22 yr old dman is a better option than 1 half of the Less Brothers, Nick Holden who is Use Less compared to Marc Staal’s Worth Less alter egos.

  • Another way to look at this: Add the cap hit to the cost of the player replacing him. At this point, Staal is lining up to play on the bottom pairing and that spot could and would be taken by a kid on an ELC, meaning the cap hit for that player is less than $1,000,000. Add that to the buy-out hit and it comes in considerably less than paying Staal (a bottom pairing d-man) $5,700,000, about $3,000,000 less. From that angle, it starts to make more sense.

    The real issue is the length of the buy-out hit: 8 years. That said, in today’s hard cap world, teams that are able to sustain their competitiveness over an extended period continually introduce into their line-ups cheap players, preferably entry-level so they are really cheap. And they aren’t slugs. They can play. It’s imperative under any conditions, but especially if you’re paying someone not to be on the team, that you are able fold into the lineup year in and year out, cheap, young and effective players. In theory, in the case of Staal’s buy-out, the Rangers will need at least one d-man on an ELC for 8 years.

    If that can be done, perhaps buying out Staal is a reasonable move….

  • Well Jim if you look at it that way it does make it feel a lot easier to live with the pain of paying the penalties of a buyout. As far as having a player on an ELC for 8 years they could easily have the first 3 years taken care of with a guy like Graves for example coming up. That leaves 5 years. Well in 4 years Smith will be finished with his contract and that could lead to another kid coming up. The question is do they have an 18 or 19 year old in the system that could be playing in 4 years. My point is that they could actually have at least 6 of those years taken care of and by the time they’re in the last few years of the buyout it will be a much less a,punt to have to pay. But don’t forget there’s still the Girardi buyout to deal with. I’m also pretty sure the buyout period just ended anyway so none of this matters anyway. Lol. I guess it’s nice to dream anyway

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