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Bozak’s back - Tyler Bozak signs one year contract with the Blues

Now Armstrong can focus on Robert Thomas... and Vladimir Tarasenko.

NHL: MAY 10 Blues at Kings Photo by John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While Blues fans have been waiting for news about Robert Thomas, Doug Armstrong decided to craft an appetizer to that main course. Today the Blues signed Tyler Bozak to a one-year deal that’s a reasonable price for the 35 year old center.

The contract’s worth $750,000 plus performance bonuses. This is a steep discount off of Bozak’s previous contract. That three-year deal, signed in 2018, was a $5 million per year deal with a modified no trade clause. That was a good chunk to pay for a player who was 32 at the time, but Bozak’s contributions to the team have been important, and he was a key part of the 2019 Stanley Cup championship team.

At age 35, Bozak’s role is clearly going to be different than what it once was - he’s a veteran, and he’s a leader in the locker room. Having as many hold-overs from that Cup winning team as possible is a net benefit for the Blues, and keeping Bozak is a low-risk move that gives the Blues depth at center.

With Tarasenko’s contract, this leaves less than a million to re-sign restricted free agent Robert Thomas. Either Armstrong has a plan in place for Tarasenko, or he has some more cap management jujitsu up his sleeve.