Thread: Value of: Bozak to Hawks
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03-19-2013, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by The Thin White Duke View Post
This upcoming contract will take Bozak through his prime years, and as such we can logically speculate that he will try to cash in as much as possible. A few members of the Toronto media have echoed this mentality, expecting Bozak to be asking for roughly 4M. Realistically, he won't be signing cheaper than 3.5 mil or so, and frankly I'm not comfortable with having upwards of 8M tied up in 2 undersized 2nd/3rd line centers in Bozak and Grabo. Bozak is our number one by proxy, ideally he's a 3rd line center on a competitor. If we had an actual number one, this wouldn't be a problem as Bozak would be lined up for a reasonable 3rd line salary. As it stands, we'd be paying a 3rd line quality player upper-end 2nd line money.

If you can't see how Ribeiro wouldn't be an instant upgrade while he's playing at PPG+ right now, I can't really help you. It's not like Bozak provides any intangibles or incredible defense to make up for the gap in point production. I'd much rather spend Bozak's money on a Weiss or Ribeiro this summer. The Kessel point is completely irrelevant, these are grown men being paid millions to play a sport, I sincerely doubt that Tyler Bozak is the difference between signing Kessel or not. In the unlikely event he is, I'd really rather just trade Kessel then instead of trying to appease a man-child who won't sign without his BFF.

Long story short, if the Leafs can upgrade Bozak to Ribeiro without giving up too much more futures than we gain back, they'd be stupid not to do it.
Of course, like any player, he wants to get paid fair market value. But, just like any other player, he likely wants to be an important piece to his team. There's very few teams where Tyler Bozak would be a #1 centre and have the opportunity to play with a talent like Phil Kessel.

We keep hearing this $4m figure as if it's something bad... who are we going to get that's a better centre for Phil Kessel for $4m??? Is our cap situation next year going to prevent us from doing something we want to because we're paying Tyler Bozak $4m??? In case you haven't checked, $4m is what below average 2nd line centres go for. If we can get him for that, we should consider ourselves lucky.

If you've got a problem with our 1st and 3rd line centre taking up a combined ~$10m in space, your problem is more likely related to the $5.5m 3rd line C then it is the $4m 1st line C.

Ribeiro isn't an instant upgrade to our team. He's a 1-way player who's weak on the puck. Phil Kessel needs a two-way player (which Bozak is) who's strong on the puck. Tyler Bozak's puck strength isn't that of a Joe Thornton or Ryan Getzlaf, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of Mike Ribeiro's.

You can manage with an attitude, saying that if players don't do what you like, you'll just trade them. Or you can objectively ask yourself, what's the path of least resistance to win hockey games. The path of least resistance, is Tyler Bozak as the team's #1 centre until they can get a centre substantially better than him that makes Phil Kessel forget all about playing with Bozak.

Long story short -- if the Leafs traded Tyler Bozak to get Mike Ribeiro, we'd be back to the JFJ days of management... get guys with a decent history of production, no consideration about actually putting your players in a position to succeed / get the most value out of them.

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