Why not return to the place where you won it all? Tyler Bozak has re-signed with the St. Louis Blues, inking a one-year contract. The deal is worth a base salary of $750K but also includes performance bonuses. Those bonuses, based on games played and playoff success, can increase Bozak’s salary to $2MM, according to Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest. CapFriendly reports the deal includes a no-trade clause through March 6, 2022, and tweets the full bonus structure:
- 10 GP: $750K
- 41 GP: $250K
- Winning round 1: $100K
- Winning round 2: $150K
Bozak, 35, was actually listed 35th on our list of the Top 50 UFAs, where we predicted he would sign a one-year, bonus-laden deal. It seemed likely, given the dearth of real center options available, that Bozak would be able to secure more than the league minimum for his base salary. Perhaps he could have, had he not returned to St. Louis, where the Blues are currently tapped out when it comes to the salary cap ceiling. The team is pushing right up against the upper limit but still has Robert Thomas to sign, which will put them over for the start of the season.
Oskar Sundqvist will likely open the year on long-term injured reserve, opening some cap flexibility and a lineup spot for Bozak, who is coming in on a very reasonable deal. Though his bonuses will likely bring him higher than the league minimum of $750K, those can actually be carried to next season’s cap as an overage if necessary. His very low base salary gives the Blues as much flexibility as possible, not to mention brings back a valuable veteran centerman.
Bozak may not be the player that recorded 55 points in 2016-17, but he’s still one of the best faceoff men in the league, winning 56.8% of his draws last season. He will offer the team excellent depth down the middle as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2020-21, where they were pummeled by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs. With new faces like Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad adding a new dimension to the forward group, the team has built quite the diverse lineup. Adding Bozak for a smaller cap hit (initially) than Kyle Clifford and Mackenzie MacEachern only helps things.
Excellent signing. Shocked he didn’t go elsewhere for more. Still a very good option for 3rd or 4th line. Can still be productive as well
That’s why culture of a team certain types of guys want to play there and are willing to take huge discounts at certain stages in their careers like spezza and Maroon.
Gudbranson almost gets three times as much as Bozak? Somebody good with the economy help me out with that one.
sounds like the incentives are probably quite attainable
@JD – Does this look familiar? “Gudbranson, 29, has become something of a joke among analytics-leaning fans because of his brutal possession statistics, but seems to keep getting opportunities because of his size, draft pedigree, and a short stretch of success with the Pittsburgh Penguins.” @Gavin hit the nail on the head with that one. Gudbranson is the “highly-coveted” RD, but Bozak is “merely” >53% on the dots (career), with a career-high of 56.8% last year. A better center than Gudbranson is at Right-D. Maybe Tyler can catch up with the bonuses. I hope “Tre” saved some extra cap room to be used for headache relief for Derek, Lou & Pat…
vincent k. mcmahon
Knew he was coming back! It just took a bit of time!