Bozak was a free agent and in Championship Sports Media’s article covering NHL rumors. In that article, it was noted that Tyler Bozak would have made a good addition to the Pittsburgh Penguins. As it turned out, the price tag for the Pens wouldn’t have been as much as expected.
It seemed that Bozak was holding out for more money, but his play hasn’t been worth the $5 million cap hit he was receiving.
Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet confirmed the signing of one-year for $750,000 with possible bonuses. Since Bozak’s play has tended to decline of late, the salary drop seems legitimate. He accumulated five goals and 12 points in 31 games last season with that $5 million cap hit. The Blues may not use Bozak as much as they have previously, and at 35, his prime playing days have long passed him by.
This signing may be more about Bozak wanting to prove that he is still relevant in the NHL rather than a key player the Blues needed.
Where Bozak May Fit In
Bozak plays at center ice and can fill in as needed. While he may not see much ice time, going back to the Blues was his choice. As detailed above, the Penguins have limited cap space and are really short handed with injuries. Bozak is a good possession player with a 52.7 Corsi For. That means when he is on the ice, his team has possession of the puck over 50 percent of the time.
Even with his good possession stats, his offensive production has really lacked in St. Louis over the last two seasons. Over that period of time, he has only collected 18 goals and 28 assists covering 98 games. He may not be on the first line, but he is still a competitor and can help with the little things, like going to the corner and digging out the puck.
Bozak played nine seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs gathering 136 goals and 228 assists in 594 games. The Blues may be looking for him to help out in the playoffs, as he has had 11 goals and 16 assists in 56 games during his 12-year NHL career. He isn’t afraid to use his physicality either, with 699 hits in 764 games.
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