For the first time in his career, Tyler Bozak took to the ice in Toronto without a Maple Leaf logo across his chest.
The 32-year-old was back in his old stomping grounds with the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and was honoured with a fitting 42-second video tribute during a stoppage of play in the first period. The Toronto crowd then showered Bozak with a long standing ovation before the fan favourite returned the love with a salute of his own.
A video tribute and long standing ovation for the nine-year Maple Leaf 👏pic.twitter.com/fgC5RucsNd
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) October 20, 2018
It was a night of change for Bozak’s young son Kanon as well, who became infamous over the past couple seasons for fist bumping players and cheering his pops on from the other side of the glass. Kanon was there to see his dad’s return to Scotiabank Arena up close and, of course, was sporting a new set of colours, too.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) October 20, 2018
Kanon Bozak did indeed return to the glass, by the way.
— Justin Cuthbert (@jccuthbert) October 20, 2018
As far as video tributes goes, Kyle Dubas’ philosophy on the matter appears to differ greatly than that of predecessor Lou Lamoriello, who decided against such a thing for Phil Kessel’s return and probably had to be lobbied real hard to do one for Dion Phaneuf, who captained the team for several seasons.
Bozak signed with Toronto as a college free agent during the 2009-10 season and went on to play just shy of 600 games with the club, finding the back of the net 136 times and posted 365 points over part of nine campaigns with the Maple Leafs.
He has one tally and one assist through 6 contests with the Blues this season.
More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports: