The Boston Bruins did not need to make many moves at the NHL Trade Deadline. Mostly they were looking for depth players no big-name splashes. One of the names they acquired at the deadline was unrestricted free agent Tyler Bertuzzi.
Originally Bertuzzi was not on the radar for the Bruins, however, Boston was dealing with injuries to Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall, so GM Don Sweeney made the move right before the deadline to add Bertuzzi.
All Bertuzzi has done for the Bruins is deliver. Playing in the bottom six either on the third or fourth line, Bertuzzi brought an edge to the Bruins that was missing. Through 21 regular season games with the Bruins, he recorded 16 points (four goals and 12 assists). And we all knew what Bertuzzi could bring to a lineup, but nobody expected how important he was going to be in the playoffs.
Through four playoff games, Bertuzzi has six points (two goals and four assists). The goals he has been a part of have changed the game in favor of the Bruins. With this being his first taste of playoff action, many people wondered how he would do. With this Bruins team, he fits right in.
That is why his performance in the playoff may just affect what he gets in the offseason and if the Bruins can re-sign him.
Tyler Bertuzzi is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Detroit Red Wings that carries a salary cap hit of $4.75 million. It is pretty reasonable right now as Detroit retained 50 percent of his salary. That won’t be the case with his next contract.
If you look at comparables the league Bertuzzi has a range of $4.95 million AAV through $5.8 million AAV. Some players that can compare to Bertuzzi are Andre Burakovsky, Conor Garland, Teuvo Teravainen, and Josh Anderson to name a few.
Burakovsky just signed a five-year, $27.5 million deal with the Kraken, that carries a salary cap hit of $5.5 million, which settles right in the middle of the AAV range. That number might be a little out of the Bruins price range with other notable players to be signed like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Foligno, and Tomas Nosek.
If the Bruins were to lock him at the number or anything higher, Boston would have to move out some money as Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic points out. Players like Derek Forbort or Matt Grzelcyk could be in play, and potentially Taylor Hall, who is also having a monster first-round series. Hall will be harder to move as he has partial no-trade protection.
The way Bertuzzi has been playing this playoff he will command a market. We have seen guys get paid off a good playoff. But if he wants to stay in Boston things will have to be worked out on both ends.