According to a report from Sportsnet analyst and NHL insider Chris Johnston, the St. Louis blues have signed free agent center Tyler Bozak to a three year, $15 million deal with an annual average cap hit of $5 million.
Tyler Bozak gets a three-year deal from St. Louis with a $5M AAV.
Wow… who saw that coming? $5 million per season for Tyler Bozak? No doubt he’s a solid center, but he played mostly in a third line role with the Toronto maple Leafs last season. That’s a big chunk of change to pay a third line center, so it’s likely that the Blues have Bozak pegged for their second line center spot. He’ll slot nicely in behind top line center Brayden Schenn and should produce some offence alongside wingers David Perron and Alex Steen. Of course, Schenn and Russian sniper Vladimir Tarasenko should get the majority of the Blues' power play minutes, but it's possible that Bozak could muscle his way into some secondary power play minutes in 2018-19.
The 32 year old Bozak scored 11 goals and 43 points in 81 games with the Leafs last season and has 136 goals and 365 points in 594 career games, all with the Leafs. He was originally signed by the team as an unrestricted free agent back in 2009 after two stellar seasons with the University of Denver in the NCAA. The native of Regina, Saskatchewan has played the entirety of his NHL career with the Leafs organization.
The Leafs also reportedly waved goodbye to free agent James van Riemsdyk today, as well with reports indicating that he’s signed a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. Van Riemsdyk, of course, started his career with the Flyers after being selected by the team 2nd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Now, after six stellar seasons with the Leafs, the man they call JVR will return to the City of Brotherly Love.
What do you think, Leafs fans? Even the team misses out on superstar John Tavares, was it worth the risk of exposing Bozak and JVR? Or, should they have made a move on the "Devil they know"?