Report: Bruins ‘exploring’ what they need to do to keep Tyler Bertuzzi originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The B’s are facing a pretty difficult salary cap crunch. The cap itself is only expected to rise by about $1 million to $83.5 million for the 2023-24 NHL season. Boston also has $4.5 million of overage money from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci‘s 2022-23 contracts to tack on to their 2023-24 cap number.
There are more than 10 players on Boston’s roster who are unrestricted or restricted free agents this summer. The Bruins cannot afford to bring everyone back. The math just doesn’t work out.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Friday in his “32 Thoughts” column that “Boston is exploring what it needs to do to keep Tyler Bertuzzi, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.”
Re-signing someone like Bertuzzi, who could potentially fetch as much as $5.5 million or more per season in his next contract, would require the Bruins to make some other moves (trades, buyouts, etc.) to clear cap space.
Bertuzzi is arguably the best of Boston’s upcoming free agents — excluding Bergeron and Krejci. The Bruins acquired Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings a day before the March 3 trade deadline in exchange for two draft picks, including a protected 2024 first-rounder.
The 28-year-old left wing was a tremendous fit in Boston. He tallied 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 21 regular season games, and then he tied for the team lead with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in the Bruins’ seven-game first-round playoff series against the Florida Panthers.
Bertuzzi has the ability to score 20-plus goals, but he’s also a fantastic playmaker, and that was on full display with the Bruins when he dished out 17 assists in 28 games (including the playoffs). Bertuzzi also is willing and capable of going to the tough areas of the ice to win puck battles and score goals. He does the dirty work to make life easier for a superstar such as David Pastrnak. Bertuzzi makes an impact on special teams, too, especially the power play.
Opening up some much-needed cap space won’t be easy for the Bruins. And for that reason, retaining Bertuzzi will be difficult. But the Bruins should at least try. He’s worth keeping long term based on several factors, most notably his talent, roster fit and age.
Source: Yahoo Sports