Blues bring back Perron yet again, add Bozak in free agency

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David Perron always seems to find his way back to St. Louis.

After spending the 2017-18 season as a member of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, Perron is returning to the Blues for a third stint after signing a four-year, $16 million contract with the team in free agency on Sunday.

[ProHockeyTalk’s NHL Free Agency Tracker]

The decision to return comes just one year after the Blues left Perron exposed in the expansion draft — after protecting the likes of Ryan Reaves and Vladimir Sobotka ahead of him — and allowed him to be taken by the Golden Knights. During his one year with the expansion team Perron tallied 66 points in 70 games and was one of their most productive forwards during the regular season. That production dried up in the playoffs and resulted in him being a healthy scratch at one point during the Stanley Cup Final.

Still, given how much the Blues struggled to score goals last season (24th in the NHL) they could have certainly used Perron during the regular season, and the decision to leave him exposed in the expansion draft was one of the many decisions across the league that helped Vegas build a contender in year one.

Originally drafted by the Blues in the first round of the 2007 NHL draft, Perron spent the first six years of his career with the team before being traded to Edmonton prior to the 2013-14 season. From there he has bounced around between the Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, back to the Blues, Vegas, and now back to the Blues again.

Along with the return of Perron, the Blues also attempted to bolster their center depth with the signing of Tyler Bozak to a three-year, $15 million contract.

Prior to joining the Blues Bozak had spent his entire career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With Bozak you know what you’re going to get offensively: He is going to score around 15 goals, finish with around 45-50 points, and generally score like a second-or third-line center. That is pretty much what he has always been. Over the past three years the rest of his game seemed to take a step forward and resulted in him posting some improved underlying numbers, especially when it came to his possession numbers.

The Blues had a hole at center after trading Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline.

Bozak isn’t as good as Stastny and Perron probably shouldn’t be expected to duplicate his numbers from this past season, but the Blues were pretty desperate for offense and attempted to address it here.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.