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Bozak responds to Twitter criticism

Jul 12, 2013, 5:16 PM EST

Tyler Bozak #42 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 28, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Maple Leafs defeated the Islanders 5-4 in overtime.
(February 27, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

It’s not hard to find criticism of Tyler Bozak and the Maple Leafs’ decision to sign the 27-year-old center to a five-year, $21 million contract extension. Forget Don Cherry; all you need is a Twitter account to get your fill.

Today on TSN 1050 radio in Toronto, Bozak was asked about the negative things that have been said and written in the wake of his new deal — specifically, the argument that he’s been riding the coattails of Phil Kessel and isn’t good enough to play first-line center.

His response?

“I’ve had two coaches (Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle) that had the opportunity to not play me in that role and have, so if there’s a few fans on Twitter that still think I’m not able to play, I’ll take the coaches’ opinion over theirs every time.”

So there.

Bozak, by the way, is an active tweeter himself…

Of course, he gets criticized for that, too…

https://twitter.com/RonGuillet/status/355776459505270784

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Simply put, Toronto media and a decent chunk of the fanbase are idiots. They seem to know more than every coach and GM out there yet curiously have not been hired by any NHL team.

    • sirhilfiger3 - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      all you have to do is simply watch blozak’s play and consistent giveaways, etc. to know he barely belongs on the third line—let alone the team—–comical first line—-1.5 mil to 4.2—-really—ya right—joke

      • tinkss3 - Jul 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        sirhilfiger3, are you honestly retarded or know absolutely nothing about the Toronto maple leafs? shouldnt even make the team do you see who they have had at center the last couple years Bozak is a gift and great one at that. he has done more things for leafs then Kessel and Kadri combined not just talk about points. that comment should be deleted off here just like your name

      • dueman - Jul 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Take it easy tinky. By saying that, “Bozak has done more things for the Leafs then Kessel and Kadri combined”, you have officially jumped into fantasy land. Maybe you should take a nap or something.

    • sunderlanding - Jul 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Same can be said about any fanbase or media personality.

  2. titansbro - Jul 12, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    You have to admit, he makes a great point.

    • dueman - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Of course he does! Do you really think that twit-tards like this Ron Guillet guy actually know more than NHL coaches and GM’s do? People are quick to criticize, but in reality, none of us know what the guys that get paid millions to do the job know.

      • tdrusher225 - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        In the words of George McPhee, “If they knew the game, they’d be in it.”

      • 19to77 - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        Not that I disagree, but Darcy Regier’s allowed to be a GM. Clearly there are some exceptions to the rule.

  3. tmlhockeyfan - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    I’ve definitely felt like a minority among Leafs fans this summer. I love the Bozak and Clarkson signings.

    Bozak is totally underrated. Everyone focus on the points (or lack of points) but ignore all the little things Bozak is great at. To me you have to look at the team as a whole. In the last two NHL seasons there have only been 9 players to score higher than a point per game pace. The Leafs have TWO of them. Kessel and Lupul. Bozak is a big reason why.

    He’s one of the best faceoff guys in the league. Giroux, Bozak, Toews, Bergeron and E.Staal were the top 5 in faceoff wins. Good company for Bozak to be win. He lead the Leafs in takeaways last season. He was 14th in the league and 7th among centers. Is Top 10 not good enough? He gets a good amount of hits for a top 6 center too. Same range as Jamie Benn, Mike Richards, Mike Fisher, Brandon Dubinsky, REAL hitters. But people ignore this part of Bozak’s game.

    Clarkson is the same thing. The guy has been improving every year of his career, but suddenly the hockey world assumes he’s going to revert to the point production he had when the Devils had him on the 3rd line. He’s most likely going to be on a like with Van Riemsdyk and Kadri… which will be fun to watch.

    Clarkson was pricey, but the cap isn’t going to go down anymore. This was a one time thing. It’s going to go up a lot. It’s based on revenues and revenues have been good since the lockout. 5.25M won’t even be a big deal in 5-6 years.

    Lupul-Bozak-Kessel
    JVR-Kadri-Clarkson
    McClement-Bollland-Kulemin.

    This isn’t a bad top 3 lines, people. Still not sure how Bolland and Clarkson are downgrades from Grabovski and Frattin. But it wouldn’t be the Leafs if everyone thought they didn’t just make the biggest mistake ever…. again.

    • seattle2toronto12thmanconnection - Jul 12, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      Agree with a lot of your post. The one issue I have with the Clarkson signing is the duration. I know that angle has been covered to no end, but I don’t think you can just discount it. Also, if you McClement on the third line as a winger, are you projecting Colborne as our 4th line center?

      • dueman - Jul 12, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        The bottom line on the Clarkson deal is quite simple. If the deal wasn’t 7 years, he’s an Oiler, and not a leaf. Would that have been the better outcome in your eyes? As far as I’m concerned, as a fan, I’m very happy they did what they had to do to sign him because the team is better with him on it.

      • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 13, 2013 at 12:09 AM

        @seattle2toronto,
        The was rumours of a couple other teams offering Clarkson 6-7M for the same term. He actually took a pay cut because he wanted to play in Toronto. The length of the contract may or may not be a problem. It’s still too soon to tell, and for that I see little point in getting upset about it. And like I said, the salary cap is going to go up every year again. The only reason it went down now was because the new CBA. 5-6 years from now there will be a lot more cap space. Clarkson’s paycheck will be average for a 2nd/3rd line guy.

        Are the 2013/14 leafs a better team than the 2012/13 Leafs? I’m not going to worry about the 2019/2020 Leafs this early.

        “Also, if you McClement on the third line as a winger, are you projecting Colborne as our 4th line center”

        I just did it that way for aesthetics really. Carlyle likes to juggle the lines quite a bit depending who is hot and who the team is playing. A lot of guys are interchangable. Realistically the lines should look more like this.

        Lupul/JVR – Bozak – Kessel
        JVR/Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson/Kulemin
        McClement/Colborne – Bolland – Kulemin/Clarkson
        McLaren – Colborne/McClement – Orr

        There’s some other prospects that could gets some playing time. I’m hoping to see Tyler Biggs this year. He could be a Ryan Callahan/Dustin Brown type guy. He already has 4 gold medals in juniors. Captained two of those teams. Pretty good prospect.

    • kingjoffrey19 - Jul 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      Thank you for this post, I have been saying all the same things since these signings. The media has just been feeding us that we need a big tall centre to be our captain and franchise player ever since Sundin left. Players like this are not just a dime a dozen, in fact they are coveted by every single team in the league.

      I really like our team going into next season, and despite the fact that our division will be even stronger, and therefore tougher to make the playoffs next season, I really like our odds. This will be a competitive team.

  4. withseidelinn - Jul 13, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    I agree Bozak isn’t a true #1 center. But does it matter? He plays great with Kessel and even better when Lupul is on the other side. If it works for Toronto, why is everyone else worried about how and where he would play on another team?

  5. chanceoffleury1 - Jul 13, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Well Bozak is certainly in good company with “playing up” and letting his more talented linemates make him look good. There are so many players in this league whose stats get inflated due to their teammates. Look at what happens when you seperate Ovi from Backstrom, Neal from Malkin, Seabrook from Keith, Brodin from Suter, Moulson from Tavares, Saad from Toews. Is Rask the same goalie if you take away Bergeron and Chara? I mean, the list goes on. That’s why you sign the Crosbys and Kessels because they can make average players look like allstars if the chemistry is there. I mean, isn’t that the entire concept behind it being a hockey “TEAM”.

    Newsflash Leafs fans: If it was that easy to just go sign a superstar center to go along with your superstar wingers or vice versa than everybody would be doing it. Pretty much every single team that’s been successful since the cap era started can point to the exact same situation within their own organization. Being able to turn your average player into a superstar first line quality player is what separates good hockey players from great hockey players.

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