The Boston Bruins made a big splash with their blockbuster trade last week for Washington Capitals veterans Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, but it’s clear that they aren’t done ahead of Friday’s NHL trade deadline.
According to several reports, Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi has been informed that he’s been traded to the Boston Bruins. It’s been a down season for the 28-year-old Bertuzzi as he’s struggled through injuries with just four goals and 14 points along with a minus-12 in 29 games for the Winged Wheels this season. Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the rumblings, and TSN’s Darren Dreger confirmed that Bertuzzi had been informed of the trade to Boston.
As @FriedgeHNIC suggests, Tyler Bertuzzi has been informed he’s been traded to Boston
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 2, 2023
The Boston Bruins gave up a 2024 first round pick (top-10 protected) and a 2025 fourth round pick with Detroit retaining 50 percent of Bertuzzi’s salary. The first round pick is a pretty high price to be paid for a pure rental in Bertuzzi that’s having a very down season with the Red Wings. Another interesting wrinkle is the roughly $2 million in salary cap space that the Boston Bruins have to clear by the end of business on Thursday, per our friends at PuckPedia.
After adding Bertuzzi @ $2.375M, #NHLBruins now have -$2.06M of Cap Space with 24 players.
They have until 5pm to clear $2.06 to be cap compliant through:
-Adding players to LTIR
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) March 2, 2023
Bertuzzi has long been a hardnosed, skilled competitor that’s performed well for some pretty good Detroit teams over the years and has three different 20 goal seasons on his NHL resume before hitting unrestricted free agency this summer.
The left winger is coming off a season where he scored 30 goals and 62 points in 68 games for the Red Wings while missing more than a handful of games after he was one of the few NHL players to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine and couldn’t play in any games set in Canada.
Now he reportedly arrives in Boston at a time when both Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno have been lost to injuries over the last few games, and the Bruins are clearly gathering up as much positional depth as possible ahead of an expected long run in the postseason. The Hall lower body injury, in particular, had to have been a factor in Boston’s efforts to land Bertuzzi and hedge their bests with more quality depth at the wing position.
Boston Bruins President Cam Neely had hinted a few days ago that the B’s weren’t done “tinkering” with their NHL roster and his words have proven prophetic.
It remains to be seen exactly what kind of salary cap maneuvering the Boston Bruins had to do to bring in Bertuzzi’s nearly $4 million salary cap hit, but it unfortunately rules out any last ditch efforts to bring Milan Lucic back to Boston for one last run with his Boston buddies. Veteran players like Lucic and Nick Bjugstad were available in trade and likely on Boston’s radar as a forward depth move before Bertuzzi became the desired target.