Blues earn B-minus for Tyler Bozak deal

Tyler Bozak's price tag might seem a bit high for his age, but the three-year length of his deal with the Blues makes it a solid signing. Mark Humphrey, File/AP

The Player: Tyler Bozak, 32, Center

The Terms: Three years at $5 million annually from the St. Louis Blues.

Where does he fit in?

The Blues had a hole at center ever since they traded Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets last season. They weren't in the John Tavares derby. GM Doug Armstrong said that the price tag for players like Ryan O'Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres were too high. So it was back to unrestricted free agency, where they landed on Bozak. The 32-year-old former Toronto Maple Leafs center, barring another move from the Blues, likely slots on with Patrik Berglund on the team's second line, potentially with newly reacquired David Perron. He'll play in the power play, but wasn't used much at all by Mike Babcock on the penalty kill in the past three seasons. If nothing else, Bozak provides some center depth until Robert Thomas, whom the Blues refused to include in any deal for O'Reilly, recovers fully from his ankle injury.

Does this deal make sense?

Three years is good; $5 million annually is a little off-putting, but look a little deeper. Bozak ranked No. 56 among centers with 0.62 points per game from 2015-18. But that's the same points-per-game average as Tyler Johnson -- who also names $5 million annually -- in the exact same sample of games (216). It's more than Adam Henrique (0.58 points per game), who likely clears $5 million on his next deal. The difference, however, is that Johnson is 27, Henrique is 28 and Bozak ... isn't. But that's why three years for him is fine.

Overall Grade: B-minus

Hes not the center that'll move the needle for the Blues. He's not even a suitable replacement for Stastny. But Bozak didn't cost the Blues the assets that others would have, so that's a win, in a way.