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NHL Source: Bertuzzi ‘Pretty Intent’ On Entering Free Agency



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According to an NHL source, Boston Bruins winger Tyler Bertuzzi is looking forward to hitting the unrestricted free agent market on July 1.

Bertuzzi, 28, can become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his NHL career on July 1.

“I know he made it clear to the Red Wings when they were discussing an extension with him that he was pretty intent on hitting free agency this summer,” the source told BHN recently. “His camp knew what he can get out there, and that’s probably more now after the way he played for the Bruins. I know the Bruins are trying hard to keep him, but given his desire to test the market for the first time and their cap issues, that will be difficult.”

Tyler Bertuzzi was acquired by the Boston Bruins from the Detroit Red Wings at the March 3 NHL trade deadline in exchange for a 2024 first round pick (top-10 protected) and a 2025 fourth round pick with Detroit retaining 50 percent of Bertuzzi’s salary. The 2013 second round pick (58th overall), made an instant impact in his Boston Bruins debut with an assist, and finished the regular season with four goals in 12 assists in 21 regular season games. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound winger then had five goals and five assists in the first seven Stanley Cup Playoff games of his career, tying Brad Marchand (4G,6A), for the team lead in points and Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak for the team lead in goals.

In his final media availability back on May 2, Bertuzzi told reporters that he loved his short stint wearing the Spoked B, and  h and his family loved their stay in Boston.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Bertuzzi. “It’s a special group in here. It definitely stung a lot [losing in the first round]. We had more expectations and a better plan. We loved it [in Boston]. Honestly, we had such a blast. We were in the North End eating pasta every day and going for walks, so we enjoyed every day here. We could definitely see [staying here]. The fans here are awesome, the arena…everything. I loved it. Having a little girl that will be going to school soon, there will be a lot of factors that will be going in [to a free agency decision]. But I’ll make the decision.”

Last Friday, Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman reported that 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,” Elliotte Friedman wrote in an abbreviated 32 Thoughts column.

That exploring obviously took place on the NHL trade market, and multiple sources have confirmed to BHN that Sweeney has once again been one of the more active general managers in terms of seeing what cap-clearing options he may have. In a perfect world, he would be able to pull off not one, but two trades similar to the one Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake took part in on Tuesday.

Blake was able to clear $5.625 million in cap space in the three-way trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers, that saw the Flyers send defenseman Ivan Provorov ($6.75 million AAV), to the Blue Jackets. The Kings sent 28-year-old struggling goalie Cal Petersen ($5M AAV), 28-year-old defenseman Sean Walker ($2.6M AAV), a 2024 second round pick, and 2020 second round prospect Helge Grans to the Flyers. The Kings will also have to carry 30 percent of Ivan Provorov’s cap hit ($2.025 AAV) for the next two seasons.

As of now, and not counting Bertuzzi and the team’s seven other unrestricted free agents, the Boston Bruins have an estimated $5.5 million in cap space to sign their three restricted free agents, goalie Jeremy Swayman, and forwards Jakub Lauko and Trent Frederic. If and when they can lock that trio up, and given they haven’t extended any of their eight UFA’s (including captain Patrice Bergeron and veteran center David Krejci), they will then have eight roster spots to fill to field a roster for the 2023-24 regular season.

Vezina Trophy favorite Linus Ullmark, defensemen Mike Reilly, Derek Forbort, and Matt Grzelcyk, as well as wingers Taylor Hall and Jake DeBrusk continue to be Boston Bruins bantered about in NHL trade chatter and rumors.

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