Welcome to Leafs Nation, Zach!
We’ve signed Zach Bogosian to a one-year contract. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 11, 2020
Zach Bogosian Signs With Toronto
It’s something some must have a hard time believing after Bogosian’s tumultuous 2019–20 season. And his previous one, for that matter. Also his 2016–17 one. And… you get the picture. Bogosian never lived up to his third overall draft position but has still built a 12-year career. He has lost over 200 games to injury, including 22 early this last season. After rejoining the Buffalo Sabres, he played just 19 games before they placed him on waivers. When he refused to report to AHL Rochester, he was released, only to be snapped up by the Tampa Bay Lightning days later.
What This Means For The Future
It speaks volumes about someone’s career when the first playoff run in 12 years happens by blind luck. Bogosian’s past contracts have been expensive, the cancelled Buffalo deal was seven years and $36 million and made him hard to move. Good teams have a difficult time fitting that into their salary structure, and bad teams overpay to get players. The only reason Zach Bogosian made it to the playoffs, never mind to the Final, is because Tampa Bay got him for a prorated $1.3 million. His new deal reflects that new, lower rate playing against his valuable position as a right-side defenceman.
Without the expectation of his high draft position, Bogosian has far less pressure to be a team saviour. As a third-pairing defenceman, he should be fine, and at a more realistic cost. How his new team chooses to use him, on the other hand, remains to be seen. Bogosian is one of three right-side UFA defencemen used during the playoffs, so they will be rebuilding almost from scratch. It won’t be hard to attract free agents, but it might be hard to pay for them.