Some big news out of the KHL — Steve Moses, who set a league record by scoring 36 goals this season, has left Finnish-based team Jokerit, the club announced on Wednesday.
“Jokerit want to thank Steve Moses for three great years at the club,” the organization said, courtesy its website. “[We] wish him the best of luck for the future.”
Moses, 25, has spent the last three years with Jokerit following a four-year career with the University of New Hampshire. Though undersized — 5-foot-9, 170 pounds — Moses is blessed with great skating ability and offensive instincts, which saw him score 70 times for Jokerit over the last three seasons.
“He skates like the wind,” Moses’ former UNH teammate, Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk, told Sportsnet. “He’s really well built. He won’t get thrown around over here.”
Per Sportsnet, Edmonton and Columbus are believed to be interested in Moses — Columbus especially makes sense, given Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen used to work as Jokerit’s GM and was primarily responsible for bringing Moses aboard in 2012.
Mercifully, the Toronto Maple Leafs season is almost over.
The latest in this 82-game soap opera was dropped Friday, when Leafs coach Peter Horachek and winger Phil Kessel had conflicting opinions on the work ethic being put forward as this team continues to limp toward the end of a tumultuous 2014-15 campaign.
Now this, from an anonymous player in a report from The National Post:
“It’s pretty screwed up in here,” said the player, who requested that his name not be used.
When asked what he meant by his comment, the player laughed and then referenced Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. It was a game in which goaltender Jonathan Bernier compared the Leafs to a “junior team” and head coach Peter Horachek criticized the top players for going through the motions.
But the “screwed up” part was not that Kessel, Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul had seemingly taken the night off. It was that the fringe players who actually did show up — Sam Carrick, Richard Panik, Brandon Kozun and Zach Sill — were not rewarded with more ice time for their efforts.
You may recall back in January when there was speculation the New York Rangers could be interested in getting Mike Santorelli out of Toronto to play third-line center for the Blueshirts.
That, of course, never happened. Santorelli was traded to Nashville on Feb. 15, along with Cody Franson.
But might the Leafs have another center for the Rangers to consider? According to NBCSN/TSN insider Bob McKenzie, the answer is yes, and the name is Tyler Bozak.
While McKenzie acknowledges, per Nichols On Hockey, that this “would not be an easy deal to do because of the financial implications (Bozak is signed through 2017-18 with a $4.2 million cap hit),” there’s little doubt the 28-year-old is available, given the Leafs’ situation.
Bozak, playing mostly with wingers Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk, has 16 goals and 21 assists this season. He may not be the top center the Leafs have so badly needed for years now, but could he be a fit in a lesser role on a better team like the Rangers?