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.