June 25, 2024

Alex Lyon of the Florida Panthers makes a save against Tyler Bertuzzi of the Boston Bruins during Game 1 of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

The obvious big loss of the group, winger Tyler Bertuzzi left the Bruins for a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Maple Leafs. Speaking in the opening hours of free agency, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney felt that the Bruins were out of the running for Bertuzzi because both of the ‘term’ and ‘AAV’ that Bertuzzi was projected to make on his next deal. Things obviously didn’t play out that way, and the Bruins had already pivoted to other business by the time that Bertuzzi’s camp had tried pivoting their own direction away from a big-money, long-term deal.

Bruins acquire Tyler Bertuzzi in trade with Red Wings - NBC Sports

In Toronto, Bertuzzi will get the chance to absolutely juice his value to the moon, and re-enter the free agent market in 2024 in search of the long-term deal he thought he was going to get this time around. The Maple Leafs are a great spot for Bertuzzi to make that happen, too, especially if it he ends up on a line with Auston Matthews, which certainly seems like a realistic possibility with the Leafs in need of a replacement for Michael Bunting.

As for why that deal didn’t happen with the Bruins? A one-year deal never came up in Boston’s talks with Bertuzzi, and the Bruins weren’t interesting in giving away another player or two to fit Bertuzzi into the mix at that price point, especially with the Bruins still having to fill out a full roster.

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