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Bruins Trade Talk

Bruins-Bertuzzi Report Sparks Trade Rumors



Boston Bruins

With NHL free agency set to begin on July 1, and the 2023 NHL Draft June 28-29, the NHL trade rumor mill is already kicking into high gear.

According to a report on Friday, the Boston Bruins are looking into their options on how to keep potential unrestricted free agent winger Tyler Bertuzzi.

“Boston is exploring what it needs to do to keep Tyler Bertuzzi, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer,” Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman wrote in an abbreviated 32 Thoughts column on Friday.

While the fact that the Boston Bruins are looking to extend Bertuzzi and keep him in Black and Gold long term isn’t exactly breaking news, the fact one of, if not the most trusted NHL insiders dropped that nugget on Friday, does mean that with just under a month until NHL free agency kicks off, NHL free agent chatter and NHL trade rumors are about to pick up.

Speaking of that, there was a report from 98.5 The Sports Hub producer James Stewart late Friday afternoon that stated Tyler Bertuzzi was looking for a $7 million per season on his next contract.

“So this comes from what I would call an ‘informed hockey guy’ So this is above a brown check mark, but not quite paying the $8 a month for a blue checkmark,” Stewart said.

Boston Hockey Now checked with one NHL executive source on that and he had this to say:

“I can’t see him or his agent shooting that high. He’s a hot commodity but not that hot right now. Almost every team that I hear is interested in him is capped out. Good luck with that.”

Stewart also said that one of the ways the Bruins are trying to find the salary cap space to bring Bertuzzi back on a long-term deal is to shop defenseman 29-year-old defenseman Hampus Lindholm who is entering the second year of an eight-year, $52 million contract that carries a $6.5 million cap hit.

“The Bruins are quote “obsessed” with Orlov to the point where they like Orlov more than they like Lindholm. The Bruins might have buyer’s remorse with Lindholm, and he’s available in a trade,” said Stewart, who also mentioned the NHL trade chatter, that has been reported here, that has Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall ($6M AAV the next two seasons), as a salary cap casualty.

Boston Hockey Now poked around on that and while one former NHL Executive source said he had heard the same thing, two current NHL executive sources saying they had no knowledge of Lindholm being available with one joking:

“If he is, I hope Donny [Bruins general manager Don Sweeney] calls me!”

Note: I’d like to apologize for publicly shooting down Stewart’s Lindholm rumor on Twitter. While it’s highly unlikely the Bruins move him, the idea is obviously still being somewhat bantered about by those in the biz. That was unprofessional for on my part.

Don Sweeney pointed out in his final media availability on May 9, he and the team brass knew it was going to be difficult to retain Bertuzzi, as well as defenseman Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, the other players he acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline, given the impending salary cap hell the Bruins are about to enter.

“I couldn’t just categorically sign those players today,” said Sweeney, when specifically asked about the three impending UFAs acquired at the deadline. “You know, our cap situation, we leveraged a little bit. Everybody knows our overage at [$4.5 million]. So, we have some constraints, as do several other teams around the league. Our goal was to put the season on the absolute best roster we could put together and try and take a real legitimate run and we failed, no question.”

Clearly Sweeney would love to sign all three of those aforementioned potential UFA’s, and maybe even more of the eight on his roster right now, but it’s hard to believe that he’s willing to part with Lindholm, his best regular season defenseman that got Norris Trophy consideration. Even if he was, would Lindholm waive his full no-trade and no-movement clauses just two years into his contract. Also, when word got out that the Bruins asked him that, how’s it going to look to other NHL free agents thinking of signing with the Bruins after the brilliant season he had, and him playing on a broken foot for seven playoff games? Or what about Bruins targets on the NHL trade market that have contractual say in where they get traded to?



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