Hope already building for next year for the Leafs

Not that it will ease the considerable angst of a fan base headed for its seventh consecutive year out of the NHL playoffs, but the latest noble-but-doomed effort by the Toronto Maple Leafs showed a team headed in the right direction.

Yes, we know that direction for now is the golf course but bear with us.

If, of course, if the Leafs managed to beat the Detroit Red Wings last Saturday, their 4-3 win Tuesday night over the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres would be real cause for excitement. They are still mathematically alive in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt but sitting five points behind the Sabres with only five games left in the regular season does not leave a lot of room for hope.

Better the fans should turn their gaze to next season (I know, you’ve heard that enough), where the real hope starts.

Leafs general manager Brian Burke may have as much as $25-million (all currency U.S.) to spend if the salary cap gets to $63-million or so and Tuesday night’s win over the Sabres provided the latest evidence where the spending priorities lie.

There are some pending restricted free agents on the roster that Burke has to look after. But only defenceman Luke Schenn will make a sizable dent in the budget. Winger Clarke MacArthur may also cost a couple million and goaltender James Reimer can expect a healthy raise but Carl Gunnarsson and Tyler Bozak will not break the bank. Especially Bozak, whom we’ll get to later.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/david-shoalts/hope-already-building-for-next-year-for-the-leafs/article1962507/


387 Responses to Hope already building for next year for the Leafs

  1. frankinboltonleafs says:

    In the end, the team that started the season is significantly different than the one that's about to end it. Feels like that's been the story the last three seasons….almost like we've iced six different teams over three seasons. My hope is that this team sticks into next season with a real first line C and one more D. Not sure where all the new C kids we have will fit in…..that being said I think Bozak is on the out.

  2. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I wouldn't say on the out, Third-line C maybe, no real options for that spot and could come cheaply

  3. LeafFansAreGay says:

    The laffs are out. I said their not doing nothing again this year. Another April, another year of early golf.

    See the Bruins getting in shape in the right time. Huge playoff run coming for the Beasts this year. You wait and see then I'll come back and ask laffs fans to apologize for insulting the Bruins.

  4. LeafFansAreGay says:

    You suck NLFAG. How can you so such a thing a go for the laffs. HAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. LeafFansAreGay says:

    That's what I been saying. So they won some fluky game. big deal. Anybody can win when theres no pressure. Even the laffs.

  6. LeafFansAreGay says:

    Time to reflect all right. I reflected and realized the laffs suck. bahahahahahaha

  7. frankinboltonleafs says:

    Lupul and Kessel have chemistry and need a real C. Grabo forms the second line. Then you have Kadri or Colborne. Brent forms the fourth. Where does Bozak fit? I think he's a sign and trade part to a first line C package.

  8. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Colborne is most likely staying the AHL…

    And Kadri will most likely play Wing until he's more experienced…

    So…Essentially, you have:

    Lupul-(blank)-Kessel
    MacArthur-Grabovski-Kulemin
    Armstrong-Bozak-Kadri
    Orr-Brent-Brown

  9. frankinboltonleafs says:

    You think Armstrong is going to stick his nose out, (no joke intended there), on a line with Kadri and Bozak? Would you? There's room for one O talent on the third line…..not two.

  10. hockey_lover says:

    Sorry Leafs fans. Despite me hating them, I really did want them to make the playoffs. Why?  Well, I want as many Canadian teams to be in the playoffs, despite my liking them or not. And right now, its not looking too good for Canadian teams. 2 out of 6 .. MAYBE 3 if Calgary can make it. The Habs likely wont make it TOO far. So that leaves Vancouver .. and really, I have very little faith in Luongo to win the "big game."

    Also, before the season, I predicted they would make the playoffs by one point on the last day of the season. Sooo .. oops.

    Anywho, sad as it is to say, the Leafs are on their way up and next season looks a bit brighter .. if they can sign that #1 center .. whoever it is. They NEED it.

  11. mojo19 says:

    Nikolai Kulemin with a filthy snipe last night. Almost scored a couple more. This guy just has an awesome wrister and snap shot. He's so dangerous if he's got a little time and space in the slot area.

    Way to go Kulemin 30 goals!!! Really I just wanna say F— you! to everyone who called him a "3rd liner" last year. Eat shit.

    I HEART 41

  12. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Bozak is not really an O talent…I think he's more suitbale two-way. He was our best Pk killer, maybe one of our defensive players (Kessel really brought down his numbers) and also has won over 55% of draws…

    If he can develop a little more grit to his game and a little more size…Then why can he not do third-line duties?

  13. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Third-liner??? They said he was a career AHLer

    He's going to be one of the best second-liners in the game.

    He does everything right, nothing wrong, that's why we all adore him.

    Hell, even his faceoff percentage is over 50%

  14. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Not making any comparisons…:

    Martin Brodeur: 6'2, 215 pounds

    James Reimer: 6'2 210 pounds

    -Both goalies do not play the butterfly style, it seems like they play a more stand up style
    -Bad goals they do give up, but they don't phase them usually…Lots of positional confidence
    -Reimer has good tracking of pucks…Brodeur has very good tracking of pucks

    ***Reimer though, really needs to work on rebound control…If he does that and plays at a consistent level…The sky's the limit for Reimer.

  15. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Hmmmm. I see Reimer as butterfly style goalie. He drops into the the butterfly on every shot. The other two points I agree with.
    Rebound control is something that I feel Reimer is pretty good with…anything into the chest area he eats up. A few off the legs but that's to be expected. Now Gustavsson on the other hand…his rebound control is horrible.
    Just the way I see it. Not saying your wrong.

  16. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I know you guys will find this hard to believe but when Kulimen was in the minors and Tlusty was up with the big club. I predicted that Kulimen would be the better player and a consistent 25-30 goal guy as he developed. I liked Kuli's grit and size better than Tlusty's. Even as a 21-22 year old, they couldn't knock Kulimen off the puck

  17. mojo19 says:

    James Reimer is the prototypical Francois Allaire butterfly goalie. Don't confuse not going down too early with being a stand up goalie. Huge difference.

  18. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    So, Leighton gets put on re-entry waivers. Leafs could pick him up for half price.
    The question is:

    Is Leighton at half price a good veteran back-up for Reimer next season?

  19. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Forgot to mention. Leighton is signed for next year at $1.55 mil so the cap hit for the Leafs would be $775,000. Not much for a back-up.

  20. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Of course this is only doable if Sather strongly pursues Richards then he will be backed into a corner a bit. He will be against the cap and too many roster players to re-sign…perfect time to pick a guys pocket a little.

  21. mojo19 says:

    There was big time pressure to make the playoffs. What "no pressure" are you talking about? They were finally eliminated with 2 games to go in the regular season, a position that they haven't been in for 4 years. So this was not like 'every other year' at all. Very different year for the Buds. So your whole comment was a little misinformed. Don't worry about it, just look up some stats from previous years before making future posts to avoid this kind of confusion. Just a little research. 😉

  22. mojo19 says:

    meh Leighton is a dime a dozen, no sense *****ing over Philly right now to grab a goalie for next year when there will be plenty of oppurtunity to grab an affordable back up all summer long.

  23. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Tyler Bozak has taken a lot of abuse on here…some justified and some not IMO.

    Bozak does have excellent vision and creativity. He's an above average passer but still has to learn the NHL game. 31 pts in 80 games is well below his potential and the -27 is not helped by playing with kessel. Lupul's +/- is not impressive either since he has joined the Leafs.

    Yes, Bozak has disappointed but this could very well be a sophomore jinx just like Gunnar and Schenn and Grabo went through as they learned the game.

    Bozak has the talent…good skater, decent size at 6 foot, pretty good on the draw, plus what I mentioned above.

    Is he Brad Richards? Of course not. I do believe if given the chance he will rebound next year. He has to bulk up a little more, play a little grittier, shoot more and continue to develop the other aspects of his game.
    He has come on some recently with 7pts in his last 11 games and is a decent penalty killer.

    This is his FIRST full season in the NHL and has struggled as most of the team has at times. This should be expected with a player new to the League even if he isn't 18 or 19 years old..ie Gustavsson.

    I still believe he is a 40-60pt centre…obviously depends on who he plays with.

    I tend to see a lot of impatience on here…young teams have ups and downs. Patience is needed even if we feel we have suffered long enough.

  24. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Good point. for the record. I'm not necessarily for it. just wanted opinions. I'm bored stiff at work today.LOL

  25. reinjosh says:

    Yeah I agree. What more could he have done? He already scored a 100 plus points with no one. Personally I think he is one of those few that wouldn't be helped in the OHL but may not be ready yet for the NHL and yet couldn't go to the AHL.

  26. reinjosh says:

    Haha It's the whole age thing. No generation will understand the other. In ten years your going to be making comment about the 20 year old crackpots who are full of themselves lol

    Who's the other old guy? I think I know who your talking about lol

  27. mojo19 says:

    Ya I don't hate Bozak. He's clearly NHL worthy, I just don't like the idea of having to lean on him to be a key member of the team. If he does really step it up next year and puts up 20+ goals and 30+ assists that would be amazing, but I don't like the idea of going into the season and NEEDING him to do that for our team to be succesful, as was the case this year.

    Really, we could just stand for some depth down the middle. But ya if Bozak could be a 30-40 point depth guy in the line up who can step into a more important role when there are injuries etc. Then thats great.

    I like to make comparisons to Detroit because they are a good model with all their success. I think if Bozak could be as productive as a Dan Cleary, or be a Jiri Hudler type player (Hudler probably better comparison) that would be just fine.

  28. TheLeafNation91 says:

    He doesn't drop as quickly as you think, not as much as Gustavsson or Giguere did.

    One actually being an Allaire goalie.

    I think his style isn't great, but its not poor either. I think I'll classify him as average. He will steal a game and their, not always or a lot, but he wont have a lot of bad games either.

    Just solid, nothing special, nothing to worry about

  29. reinjosh says:

    That actually makes a lot of sense. Kaberle was going to be leaving via the UFA market anyways so getting a package for him made sense. Getting a prospect that fit our needs and a pick to fill our lack of the first we didn't have and it makes sense for our side.

    It made sense for Boston because they grabbed a player at a position they desperately needing. They gave up little relative to what they had, since Colborne was buried anyways and they had our first so the deal made sense from their end.

    Good call, I hadn't thought of it that way before.

  30. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Exactly. I think there was too much pressure on him this year to set up Kessel which is why he would pass off when he was in prime shooting position. He was told his job was to get the puck to Kessel…he tried to do it too much. Detroit comparison is a good one.

  31. reinjosh says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong but you guys haven't been past the 2nd round in years, if not decades. So don't worry, you will be hitting the links soon enough.

  32. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I see it the other way around. He goes down a lot but not too early on most nights. He has all the tools including mindset to be very good, not just solid.
    The shoot-out stop he made last night is a good example of his style. Fake shot, he goes down and them scrambles to stop the deke. Stand-up goalies do not go down on fake shots.
    I'll agree to disagree with you on this one.

  33. nordiques100 says:

    Bozak has a chance to be a John Madden type. a multipurpose guy who excels on the PK and can score some goals. Size lacking yes, but has good wheels to be an effective player both ways.

  34. Boston_Bruins says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, it's only been 18 seasons, buddy. Hardly "decades". Haha

  35. Boston_Bruins says:

    I do. And I remember Petr Tenkrat and Stanislav Chistov too. Good point.

  36. leafy says:

    No worries Reinjosh, no need to apologize, I'm not special or anything, just a hockey prognosticator. lol

    Thanks also to Mojo for your steadfast support!

  37. leafmeister says:

    I admit, I said I saw him as a 3rd liner last year. However, I did say that he would be one of the best 3rd liners in the league. That was before he broke out offensively, and he was just being a physical force who contributed occasionally. I have totally changed my tune though.

    2 (3) 30 goal men bodes extremely well. Add Lupul to that next year, and possibly another center, and the offense will be difficult to shutdown.

    30 goal, 57 points, solid two-way play, works his ass off, and has the ability to score both pretty, goal-scorer's goals, and the more grind it out gritty goals. He is the 2nd most important forward in the future IMO.

  38. cam7777 says:

    Never understood the whole 3rd liner thing.  I think all anyone could see was the end of the year point total for Kulemin.  He was on a tear for 30 games last year offensively though – clearly displaying all the offensive talent he has shown for the entirety of this season.  It should never have been a surprize to anyone, but that's what being a Leaf fan is all about these days.  We've been shat on and mocked so long we can't even recognize talent anymore. 

  39. cam7777 says:

    The whole line's plus/minus stat is a reflection on how out of place Bozak was this year, but that is not to say he is not a top six NHL player.  Ultimately, it was Bozak's lack of ability to generate at even strength that made that line so horrendous in the plus/minus stat.  You replace him with Richards, and that line is +10.  That said, Bozak will improve next year.  I've always thought he could be a Dave Bolland type center.  Responsible two-way guy, with speed, and just a touch of grit, but can occassionally explode with a nice move or a beauty pass.  He's in the rare position where his production will actually increase with a reduced role next year.

  40. cam7777 says:

    Filppula is probably the best comparison actually, as he also has a hard time playing the wings, and is a flashy playmaker who needs confidence to be effective at putting the puck in the net.  Hudler and Cleary are way more versatile than Bozak.  Someone on HNIC made a Lupul/Cleary comparison, and that makes more sense to me.  Lupul could be a long term solution here if healthy.  I think as time goes on, he's the kind of guy you can throw in anywhere and get him to do a good job.  3rd line wing?  No problem.  Top line scoring?  Sure.  Support scoring?  Got it.  Top PP unit?  He can do it.  Cleary also needed that 2nd chance in a strong organization to get it all together.

  41. leafmeister says:

    When I made that argument, Kulemin had yet to break out offensively, and had just discovered his physical game. Once he was put on a line with Kessel and Bozak and was able to produce reasonably well, I started to reconsider.

    It appears to have been correct in this instance, but 30 games is not a big enough sample size to make a generalization about a player. Especially when those 30 games are meaningless, at the end of an embarrassing season.

  42. cam7777 says:

    It depends, for some players it isn't a big enough sample, and for others something so monumental about their game changes, that you can make certain extractions from that limited time-frame.  For example, Kulemin put up similar points as Foligno, Simmonds, Brule, and others of varying quality, and so naturally there was confusion – but many Leaf fans did see something special in him.  I never doubted it for a second.

  43. DannyLeafs says:

    So the Leafs are officially done, but it's hard not to think that this team isn't far off being back to respectability and regular playoff appearances. They were much improved as of late, and as a result, they were actually in a playoff race, and finished with a better than .500 (well at least in terms of point %) record.

    Despite the improvement, the Leafs still have some gaping holes in their game and in their lineup. However, there is a silver lining to this fact, and that is it is much easier to move improve on areas which are severly lacking, then if you are a team who is just mediocre all around. The Leafs the worst special teams in the league, and one of the lowest scoring groups of centers in the league.

    I have seen a few propsals for trades where we upgrade someone like Phaneuf to Weber, or Kessel to Nash or Parise, or some other player who is actually playing well. I am not going to address the idea of the trade proposals, just simply say that the Leafs aren't at the point where they should look to upgrade componenents that are actually performing well to get over the hump. Those deals are complicated, hard to make, take a ton of time, and frankly there are easier ways to improve. As much a fan of Parise I am, the team would be more improved if we added a center who is capable of putting up 50-60 points then if we upgraded Kessel to Parise, and it would cost considerably less assets.

    The Leafs should focus their efforts this summer on improving their weakest areas. The Penalty kill, Powerplay, and center depth.

    Their powerplay could be vastly improved by adding a player who can score goals from directly in front of the net, and is good at providing a screen. Another option would be adding either a forward or defensemen who can play the point preferably a right handed shot. This would give them a more balanced point attack, and open up Phaneuf's one timer.

    The penalty kill is a little harder to pin down. I like Armstrong, Bozak, Brent and Brown, and Grabovski and Kulemin are adequate as well. I think their biggest issue with this is their structure, and they have been better since Reimer has been in goal, but still not as good as it seems they should have been. They could use another center that could win draws consistently.

    And the center scoring will really by any addition the Leafs may make. Bozak has been really out of place on the top line. He is an oddity. Some people defend his plus minus, saying he is good defensively so it must be Kessel's fault. The truth is, Bozak is good defensively, when he is focusing on it, but when he is on the top line, he turns the puck over alot, kills offensive plays, and loses his coverage. I am not bashing him, just pointing out that he isn't suited to being an offense-first center. He would likely be very useful as a defenseive minded center who provides nice bonus offense now and then.

    Here are some options to consider.

    Obviously adding Richards would address many issues (PP and center scoring would likely go from weaknesses to strentghts almost instantly).

    After that option is explored, Burke needs to move on to possible trade candidates. Stastny, Berglund, Oshie, Weiss, Spezza have all popped up in trade rumors at some point in the last 12 months or so, and I think Burke should start buy ascertaining if any are available, and trying to figure out what it would take to land one of these guys. I am not saying any are likely, but the options need to be explored.

    After that Burke needs to look toward free agency for at the very least some short term fixes. Here are some possibilities.

    Tim Connolly – Disappointing year, but he is still likely a step up in production from Bozak. He would likely be a cheap signing as he has somethign to prove. Could be the Clarke MacArthur type signing for next year. He also has a heavy right handed shot, and experience playing the point on the powerplay. Might be a good fit.

    Jokinen – a guy who can play center, can make plays, plays a sound 2-way game, and is also an excellent shootout player. Could be a good option to fill in at center, but slide easily into another role when a long term replacement is found. Also, he is likely to come for a relatively short term, so the financial stress of adding him is not likely going to be too high.

    Fleishman- Good set up guy, could be a good option for a short-term fix. Offer him a little more than he is worth, but on a one or two year deal, and he might be obtainable (as I doubt anyone is coming to him with 4-5 year deals). Could be worth overpaying for as long as the deal is short term.

    Here are some other free agents that could help.

    Laich – Big body, can play center, and put up a decent number of points. He hits, is a great team guy, plays well defensively, and is great in front of the net.

    Goc – good third line center with some offensive upside. Great on faceoffs and penalty kill.

    Kopecky – had a solid year, good fill in two-way center with size, also likes going to the net.

    Any combination of these guys coudl improve the team. Also, some of these guys would be nice additions if the Leafs had to sacrifice a guy like MacArthur or Bozak to land that number one center.

  44. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Ok…here is where I am getting confused on a couple of the Bozak comparisons. He just scored his 15th goal in what is really his rookie season. I am sure a lot of you would admit with some better finish around the net or not passing off in prime scoring position he could have had 20 goals this year easily. 

    He is also a huge minus player this year which some have eluded that his defensive play is apparently the cause of the other players on his lines poor +/-. He is also projected as a good penalty killer and should become a good two-way player…probably third liner with so-so abilities.

    Here is where I am confused. It is not often a rookie who is going to be a career third liner pots 15 goals that easlly should have been 20, especially considering for most of the year he had only one real winger to play with …Kessel,( last year was Kulimen on the other wing for a lot of it). Since Lupul arrived, Bozak's point total and Kessel's for that fact have increased as their +/- has steadied some. Also, a guy whose defensive play is apparently so horrible that every one else on the line suffers rarely become responsible two-way players.

    Last year he had 27 pts in 37 games which gives him a total of 59 pts in 118 career games or on average 40 pts per season, yet his career +/- is     -33. I see a future 2nd line centre who needs to find his confidence again and learn to play the NHL game…Matt Stajan he is not. Stajan made the team for his defence not his offensive capabilities.

    Please, explain to me how a guy who is so horrible defensively and is a 40 pt a season guy so far is being compared to two-way centremen who get 20-30 pts a season and are known for being good defensively…I don't get it. 

  45. nordiques100 says:

    you have a player here, undrafted, played 4 years of college and was a late blooming 25 year old that was grossly miscast as a top line centre this season thanks to the team not finding one, and thanks to the 27 points last year.

    Being placed in that role, there was here something that was doomed to fail and did.

    It was his first full season, and these expectations were completely misguided.

    He failed to live up to them. He either wasn't ready, or he tried to do too much which is what really happened. As a result, he struggled and with that comes a loss in confidence. when you are running the top line, getting top line minutes but not producing, playing special teams that were rotten and the team is losing with you in a key role, of course its going to hurt some youngsters just not use to that scrutiny.

    Because of his age and development time, he wasn't offered really that chance to go to the A like Kadri. You may have thought he did that last year, but injuries slowed his development then.

    And that is where stats do matter. When a player isn't putting up numbers, it effects him. The goals and points are not going up, it effects a player's mindset, especially a young one playing top line minutes.

    The -30 is meaningless. +/- is a team stat and pre-Reimer, the team had pourous goaltending and is still a weak defensive team that looked good thanks to Reimer. If you categorize him horrible defensively thanks to the +/-, would we then say that the Flyers should put Meszaros against Stamkos, Crosby or Ovechkin and not Pronger because he is +30 which is significantly higher than what Pronger has attained? Absolutely not.
     
    In a better slot in the lineup, he may find greater success. Less is more if you will. His skill set, a smart two way guy, seems better suited for a lesser role. Being a 3rd liner is not insulting nor is it out of his element. Malholtra's loss in Vancouver could be crippling to them. David Bolland was a rock in the Hawks championship run scoring big goals. Claude Giroux, the Flyers leading scorer this year, plays behind Mike Richards and Danny Briere up the middle.

  46. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    This is not to you specifically Danny but everyone thinks a lot of people seem to think Kessel is Ok defensively and Bozak either sucks or lazy.

    Fair enough, let's look at Kessel's career +/- stats and who he played with and then after he left Boston as well.

    06-07 Kessel -12, Savard -19, and Chara -21
    07-08 Kessel -6, Savard +3, Lucic -2, Chara +14
    08-09 Kessel +23, Savard +25, Lucic +17, Chara +23
    09-10 Kessel -8 with Toronto,    Savard +2, Lucic -7, Chara +19
    10-11 Kessel -20 with Toronto,    Savard -7, Lucic +30, Chara +32

    Every player has more than one season as a + player but Kessel, and these were the guys that Kessel normally played with. Kessel has always played with the most talented players but is a career -24 player. Lupul has more points in Toronto than he did in Anaheim but a worse +/-. Lupul has 17 pts in 26 games with the Leafs but is a -7 and he IS defensively responsible.

    Common denominator is Kessel.

    People think it is Bozak…(not to say he doesn't need to improve) mostly because he is closest to our net when the puck goes in as he has down low coverage. If Kessel got out half the pucks he should along the boards or covered his point man like he should the puck would still not be in our end in the first place.

    As long as Kessel plays half ass without the puck…whoever plays with him, their +/- will suffer…but they should put up points.

    On a side note…If we can't land a number one centre, why not try Lupul there? He has size, skates well, responsible in our end, has chemistry with Kessel…plus, it would be easier to get a big winger for the other side than a centre. Just a thought.

  47. cam7777 says:

    Pretty much what nords said, but just to add my own two cents:

    He was expected to produce offense in his even strength role this year, and he could not.  That does not reflect on his hockey IQ, or his two-way play, it simply means he was being out-centered by his opposition (often the Crosby's and Malkins of the league).  We don't have a shutdown line, so Kessel's line just matches up with those top lines most nights.  Horrible miscasting for Bozak.  If he's going to play against those guys, he needs to be in a defensive role, because there was no way he was going to outproduce those guys offensively.

    However, like nords said, and you alluded to, his plus/minus steadied with Reimer in the net.  In fact, I think Bozak was a -22 in December, so what is he really – like a minus 5 over the last 45-50 games?  Pretty reasonable for a rookie.  Like our PP and PK, our team would have spurts of play that was not indicative of their true abilities.  They were horrendous in Phaneuf's absence, and many stats went down the drain and could not be recovered.

    You can't evaluate two-way play by the plus/minus.  People made this mistake with Beauchemin, but at the end of the day, like I always said, people flat out respected the guy and acknowledged he was a guy who plays huge minutes against the league's best.  Realistically, if a guy like that is a -10, that means he was outscored at even strength 10 games out 72 – against the likes of Ovechkin, Crosby, Gaborik, etc…  It's the same with Bozak…Stats only tell half the story.

    Personally I think Burke is in a real tough position with Bozak.  He didn't show enough to merit being an untouchable, but I think he showed enough that teams will ask for him if we're doing any major deals for a more expensive center (ie. Stastny).  Now that may sound like a no brainer to deal him, Bozak has become a part of the team, and a part of the winning.  Honestly, what has he done to deserve the boot besides play his heart out in a role he wasn't ready for?

  48. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said Nords…I was being a little sarcastic.lol
    The +/-  is a result of many things not just his need to improve and get confidence back.
    I still think Bozak is better suited as a second line centre on a team that goes top 6, bottom 6 or he would be a 2-2A kind of guy on a team that has 3 solid scoring lines and an energy line.
    Just my opinion.

  49. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Again, As I said to Nords. I was being kind of sarcastic above because some comments kind of contradict themselves. I actually do understand the assessments…I just think his offensive ability is being underrated. I agree, in the right role, his game is good and if we can keep him at a good price I am all for it. I took a lot of flack on here earlier because I wanted to keep Bozak over Versteeg…I think I made the right call.

  50. Boston_Bruins says:

    Well done, Perry. Well done. That's how you reach a milestone.

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