Thursday, July 4, 2013
Latest re: Bozak contract talks
By Victoria Matiash
UPDATE: If not Toronto ... There's word the Dallas Stars and/or Calgary Flames could be interested in coughing up a significant amount of money for UFA-to-be Tyler Bozak.
TSN's Darren Dreger: "... Bozak's focus is on re-signing with Leafs. Look for Dallas to be a contender. Bozak and Jamie Benn are good pals (Jnr Hky) and Stars need centres ..."
And Sportsnet's Roger Millions reports the Flames may be in the mix for Bozak.
*** UPDATE: TSN's Darren Dreger reports contract talks between the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Tyler Bozak are expected to resume Tuesday. And the current proposal "on the table" from Bozak's people is thought to be an eight-year deal worth an average annual salary of less than $5 million.
If the Maple Leafs go for such a deal, fellow center Mikhail Grabovski's days in Toronto will likely be numbered. Especially now that Dave Bolland is part of the mix.
*** The gap may simply be too large to bridge. Unless Tyler Bozak's people or the Toronto Maple Leafs have a serious change of heart in the next few days, the center could become an unrestricted free agent July 5. According to the Toronto Sun, Bozak wants nearly $2 million/year more than the Maple Leafs are willing to pay.
"... there's going to be a wide bridge to gap if it’s true that the Leafs have offered $3.5 million a season in a long-term pact with the centreman seeking $5.2 million. This is where the contract that former GM Brian Burke put in front of Mikhail Grabovski doesn’t help. Grabovski’s deal represents a $5.5-million salary cap hit for each of the next four seasons. Bozak, whose agent, Wade Arnott, will speak to the Leafs this weekend, can’t be blamed for wanting something similar ..."
GM Dave Nonis admitted that re-signing Bozak isn't a "point of focus" at present. A lot will likely depend on transactions the Leafs pull off (or not) before and at Sunday's draft. For instance -- and this is just one what if -- a deal with Vincent Lecavalier would render Bozak much less relevant in Toronto. In which case, the Leafs may try to trade the 27-year-old's rights.