Fire up those Bozak rumors again and Zibanejad could be a real problem

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Tyler Bozak has just listed his condo for sale according to Jeff Veillette of Leafs Nation.

You can take this for what it’s worth, but the optics indicate that Bozak could be preparing for a move. On July 4th, I tweeted out the Rangers had kicked the tires on the 31 year old center and since then Larry Brooks and others have connected the two as well.

The Rangers however, may not be the favorite to land Bozak as reports out of Pittsburgh have them heavily interested also. So let’s see how this shakes out.

Growing concern over Zibanejad

Buchnevich, Kreider, Zibanejad (Getty)

As the Rangers and Mika Zibanejad both draw near the July 25th arbitration date, much of the discussion is on comparables for the the young center. Larry Brooks recently wrote about it, but one key paragraph seems to be flying under the radar with little discussion.

In the world of comparables, that should set the number around $4.8 million per for the 24-year-old Zibanejad — who, somewhat strangely, is using his half-brother, Monir Kalgoum, to represent him in his talks with the Blueshirts after leaving the powerhouse Newport Sports Agency following the season.

So this doesn’t sound alarm bells to anyone but me?

I recently spoke with a reporter in Ottawa that told me one of the big reasons to move such a highly promising young center was fear they couldn’t afford him when his contract expired. That his demands were already too high.

In addition, there is reason to believe that Zibanejad and Newport Sports were not seeing eye to eye on his value. This prompted him to ditch one of the leading sports agencies in North America and hire his half brother. Rumor has it that Zibanejad could be seeking 5.5M or more on his next contract.

Could this be heading the route of Nik Zherdhev? The Rangers actually walked away from his arbitration reward, although I doubt they would here. However, the Rangers may be forced (or have already decided) into only signing Zibanejad to a 2 year deal, which would make him a potentially very desirable UFA at its expiration.

This could get ugly.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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