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Should the Toronto Furies give Megan Bozek a call?

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The CWHL’s Toronto franchise could use some help and the USWNT defender might be the answer.

Megan Bozek #9 of the United States skates against Canada during the second period at Agganis Arena at Boston University on October 25, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

There’s no two ways about it, the Toronto Furies are struggling. In 17 games so far this season they have a record of 4-11-2. On Saturday, they lost to the Boston Blades, the only team in the league who did not record a win in the first half of the 2017-18 season.

Their top scorer, Carolyne Prévost, is the only player on the team with a points total in the double digits. While Prévost’s 16 points put her ninth in league scoring, seven of the players ahead of her have played in fewer games. (To her credit, she’s currently on an 8 game point streak.) The next highest scorers on Toronto are tied for 26th.

The Furies recently traded star defender Erin Ambrose to Montréal for a raft of picks, and another top defender, Renata Fast, is going to the Olympics. That means that on a day when everyone is healthy and no one has outside commitments or gets a game misconduct (looking at you, Saunders) they have seven defenders. That has happened twice in 17 games. In eight of those games, Toronto played with fewer than six defenders. Once they played with four.

In summary, they need some help scoring and it wouldn’t hurt if the help came in the form of an offensive defender. Luckily for Toronto, the US Women’s National Team recently left one of those off their Olympic team.

Megan Bozek scored four points in nine games with Team USA this season. Among defenders, only Emily Pfalzer scored more. Over the past two years she’s had eight goals and 13 assists in 32 regular season games with the Buffalo Beauts in the NWHL. She has three World Championships, one Olympic silver medal and an Isobel Cup to her name. That she was left off the Olympic roster is one of the great mysteries for the ages.

Why would Bozek play for Toronto? She’s done it before.

Megan Bozek playing hockey for the Toronto Furies in the 2014-15 season. She wore number 12. Brandon Taylor/CWHL

In 2014, Megan Bozek was the second overall pick in the CWHL draft. She scored three goals and seven assists in 22 games for the Furies before the members of the USWNT decided to join the NWHL as a collective for the 2015-16 season. Bozek lives and works in southern Ontario — she commuted cross-border for Beauts games and practices. Toronto’s much more convenient. And hey, scoring on Team Canada’s alternate goalies Erica Howe and Emerance Maschmeyer might be therapeutic.

It’s true that because of how she left the CWHL in 2015, Toronto no longer holds her rights, but neither does anyone else. When Kelli Stack, another member of the USWNT who joined the exodus to the NWHL, was announced as the first player to join Kunlun Red Star this offseason, commissioner Brenda Andress clarified that players who had left for the NWHL in its founding season had been released from their former teams and could return to the league as free agents.

As hinted at above it's fairly clear that Buffalo Beauts coach Ric Seiling has talked with Bozek since cuts were made, but nothing is final yet. While she made $22,500 US in the NWHL’s first season, Buffalo can’t offer her even a third of that this year. We don’t know how much cap space Toronto might have left this season, but with the advantage of geography and the offer of a fresh start, GM Nicole Latreille should give Megan Bozek a call.