The St. Louis Blues announced today that they’ve signed free-agent center Tyler Bozak to a one-year deal worth $750,000 plus bonuses. Bozak has spent the last three seasons in St. Louis and was an unrestricted free agent all summer, though the feeling always was that he would be re-signed by the Blues. After spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Bozak joined St. Louis in the summer before the 2018-19 season, famously saying that he signed with the Blues because he wanted to win a Stanley Cup.
Of course, St. Louis had not won a championship in their history up to that point, but Bozak must have seen something special in that group as he looked like a genius when the team captured its first Stanley Cup in Bozak’s first year with the club. After carrying a cap hit of $5 million in his first contract with the team, this new deal is a significant drop which leads one to believe that Bozak did not want to play anywhere else. Overall in his career, Bozak has played in 764 games (170 as a Blue) and has scored 449 points (84 in St. Louis).
Where Bozak fits in the lineup
The 35-year-old has spent the last three seasons centering the third line behind Ryan O’Reilly and Brayden Schenn and that’s where he projects to fit in again. While the Blues would like Robert Thomas to eventually move to center full-time, he is likely to start on Bozak’s right-wing while there will be competition for the left-wing slot. Additionally, Bozak should see some significant time on the penalty kill, especially while Oskar Sundqvist is still out of the lineup. The oldest player on the roster, Bozak will be counted on as a leader in the dressing room and a mentor for younger players such as Jordan Kyrou or the aforementioned Thomas.