We’ve known for awhile that the Blues need offense and are searching for a forward, preferably a top-six. The problem is the price for one. Armstrong doesn’t seem like he’s willing to give up any of the “Big Four” and I wouldn’t either. So, if Armstrong is wanting a forward then he may have to look at cheaper options than somebody like Hoffman or Kane. My last story I talked about if Armstrong should go after guys like Vanek or Maroon. If he’s looking for something a little more than that, then he should be looking at the Maple Leafs. Most of the guys we want like Nylander, Marner, and JVR would probably be too expensive. So, why not Tyler Bozak? He’s a UFA after this year with a cap hit of $4.2 million.
Bozak is 31 years old and is a right-handed center that can win face offs and put up 40-50 points. The two seasons before this year, he was 56% on face offs both years. This year he is at about 52%. Lower than previous years but he would certainly help. The Blues, as a team, are 49.4% on face offs. Every Blues center besides Schenn and Sundqvist are above 50%. Schenn is 45.5% and Sundqvist is at 43.4%. Stastny and Berglund are both at 54%, with Stastny very close to 55%. Brodziak is at 51%. The reason the Blues are below 50% is because the Blues centers are being kicked out of the draw and wingers can’t win the face off. Schenn and Sundqvist certainly aren’t helping but, Sundqvist hasn’t been playing (as he shouldn’t be).
If the Blues added Bozak, he would add more depth at center and could play at wing if called upon. He would help improve face offs and be another solid player to add to the team. If the Blues ended up acquiring him they would have to choose between signing him or Paul Stastny because they couldn’t pay them both. Plus, Robert Thomas will be up next year and will most likely be at third-line center.
What it would take to get him is most likely a defenseman. Which the Blues have plenty of. What player I think it would take to get him is probably somebody like Bouwmeester. If Army could pull off a Bouwmeester for Bozak swap would you do it? It would save us some cap and we’d gain a pretty solid forward.
Toronto is searching for help on the blue line and we are searching for help up-front. We’ve made trades with Toronto before so why not make another deal. Toronto is going to want defense sooner if Morgan Rielly is out for an extended period of time. He was injured in last night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. I would be for this trade but the only thing I’d be worried about with losing Bouwmeester is our PK. When he wasn’t in the lineup we were struggling but maybe that was just them struggling on the PK. The Blues need more offense and with Jaden Schwartz returning soon, maybe as early as tomorrow against the Arizona Coyotes, the offense should get a boost. But, if the Blues are wanting to add a little more firepower and depth, Bozak would be a good choice for a decent price. Whatever Armstrong does, if that is anything, the Blues are still a good team and are just going to get better for years to come.