Bruins: 3 Potential Free-Agent Destinations for Tyler Bertuzzi

Tyler Bertuzzi did everything that was asked of him as a rental for the Boston Bruins. Although it took him a little bit of time to acclimate to Jim Montgomery’s system, he was one of the few Bruins who stepped up in the postseason, posting five goals and 10 points in seven games. There is no question that the 28-year-old is a player who the Bruins want to keep around after his marvelous playoff showing, but that is not guaranteed. The Bruins are entering the summer with very little cap space, and he is due for a notable raise.

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If general manager (GM) Don Sweeney is unable to free up enough cap space to bring back Bertuzzi, there is no question that he will get a ton of interest in free agency. As a result, let’s discuss three possible free-agent destinations for the top-six forward if he’s forced to walk.

Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars stand out as a prime potential landing spot for Bertuzzi. NHL insider Jeff Marek reported before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline passed that the Stars were interested in Bertuzzi. As a result, they should be in the mix for his services if he hits the market this summer. After all, they are in major need of a top-six left winger, and landing Bertuzzi would provide them with just that.

Tyler Bertuzzi Boston Bruins
Tyler Bertuzzi, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If the Stars were to sign Bertuzzi, he would be an immediate fit on their second line with Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston. This trio would have the potential to make some real noise in Dallas’ top six, as it would have a nice blend of skill and grit. With that, Bertuzzi would of course provide the Stars with another skilled forward for their power play due to his excellent passing ability and scoring touch. Thus, do not be surprised if the Stars make him one of their biggest free-agent targets this summer.

Calgary Flames

The 2022-23 season was a disaster for the Calgary Flames. Heading into the campaign, they were expected to be among the Western Conference’s top clubs, but they were far from that. They finished the year with a 38-27-17 record and went on to miss the postseason. Due to this, they have already fired GM Brad Treliving and head coach Darryl Sutter, and changes to their roster are next to follow. Perhaps Bertuzzi could be a player they target because of it.

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A massive reason for the Flames’ struggles this season was their scoring woes, so they should be on the hunt for a high-impact forward like Bertuzzi this summer. The Sudbury native would fit beautifully on their first line with Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli and simply make them a lot better on paper. The Flames need more skill in their lineup, and bringing in a talented forward like Bertuzzi would give them just that. Therefore, we should expect to see Calgary in the mix for his services as they try to get things back on track in 2023-24.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Although this would pain Bruins fans if it happens, the Toronto Maple Leafs are a strong possible free-agent destination for Bertuzzi. Earlier this season, Ansar Khan of wrote that the Maple Leafs have had a long-rumored interest in the gritty forward, so Toronto pursuing him this offseason does not seem too out of the question. After all, they have several pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) forwards like Ryan O’Reilly, Michael Bunting, Alex Kerfoot, David Kampf, Noel Acciari, and Zach Aston-Reese. Therefore, they could certainly look to add a top-six forward like Bertuzzi.

Toronto Maple Leafs Celebrate
Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate winning Game 6 of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

If the Maple Leafs signed Bertuzzi, he would make their already-strong top six even stronger. He would be an excellent option to play with Auston Matthews and William Nylander on the first line but also would work with John Tavares and Mitch Marner on the second line. Along with his excellent offensive production, Bertuzzi would also give the Maple Leafs’ lineup more bite. Therefore, he could be the perfect free agent for them to target.

We will need to wait and see if the Bruins can free up the cap space needed to re-sign Bertuzzi. As stated above, he was one of the few players who showed up during the playoffs, so it would be excellent to see him stick around. However, if the Bruins cannot get a new contract finalized, look for these three teams to be heavily involved in the sweepstakes this summer.