With the Stanley Cup Champions finally crowned, the NHL offseason has officially kicked off – why not start it off with some trade rumors? The news of the Maple Leaf’s’ interest in Tyler Bertuzzi has made the social media rounds for the past couple of days, sparking conversation about his value and what a potential deal would look like.
Although the smoke is only coming from Toronto, let’s examine a few different landing spots that would make sense if Steve Yzerman is looking to shop the 26-year-old forward.
Hockey fans are still waiting for the aging Bruins roster to finally teeter towards irrelevance/mediocrity – but Boston continues to defy those expectations. The bottom half of the roster is subpar at best, but the Brad Marchand-led top line has continued to power the team to success. However, even with the addition of Taylor Hall at the trade deadline, the lack of scoring depth finally caught up with Boston in the second round of the playoffs, as they were bounced by the surging New York Islanders.
The Bruins have a lot of decisions to make in the offseason. Big names like Hall and David Krejci are unrestricted free agents and the front office will actually have a decent amount of cap space to work with (Currently projected at $30.26 million next season, per CapFriendly.com). Let’s assume that the organization is intent on making a deep run next season – what’s a better way to immediately inject the roster with depth scoring than with a relatively young winger that can rack up points?
Currently, the Bruins actually have the most projected cap space of any playoff team. Obviously, they will have to pay a hefty price to keep some of the pending free agents, but there’s certain to be money left over. If Yzerman signs Bertuzzi to a good value deal (Like he did with Anthony Mantha), the contract might be perfect for a team nearing the edge of a rebuild, like Boston.
However, it’ll cost the Bruins – they aren’t going to get a Hall-for-a-second type fleece with a general manager like Steve Yzerman. Yzerman got a first round pick and a very, very solid top-six winger for Mantha – the Bruins would have to cough up a similar/slightly lesser return for Bertuzzi. They have a couple of solid prospects in their pool and they still have their first and second round picks for the next few years. If the Bruins are willing to mortgage the future a bit for some success now, Yzerman is just a phone call away.