Bruins & Red Wings Could Make Big Trade at 2023 Trade Deadline

The Boston Bruins made a big splash last week when they acquired Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals. However, with the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline still a few days away (March 3), we should not rule out the possibility of them making another notable move. The Bruins were heavily linked to Ivan Barbashev before his trade to the Vegas Golden Knights, so adding another forward is likely on general manager (GM) Don Sweeney’s agenda. Due to this, Sweeney should consider the prospect of doing business with the Detroit Red Wings.

Tyler Bertuzzi Back on the Trade Market

After a very hot stretch of play, the Red Wings removed Tyler Bertuzzi from the trade market. However, things have changed on that front, as NHL insider Darren Dreger reported that the Red Wings are listening to offers for the scrappy winger again. This news comes after division rivals like the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning each made big moves.

Tyler Bertuzzi Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At the time of this writing, the Red Wings are three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and have played just as many games. Therefore, they are still in the playoff race, but when seeing what sellers have been getting for notable rentals right now, it makes sense that they are considering moving Bertuzzi again.

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Bertuzzi has had a down year in 2022-23, but that is because of injury trouble. After posting a 30-goal and 62-point campaign in 68 games last season, the 28-year-old has only four goals and 10 assists in 28 games this year. However, since returning from injury, he has nine points over his last 11 games. Thus, he is trending in the right direction, and the Bruins should seriously consider pursuing him because of it.

Bertuzzi Would Be Perfect Fit For Bruins

With this being a “Stanley Cup or bust” season for the Bruins, they should considering all of their options on the trade market. Although they have been excellent this season, they have the chance to become even better by bringing in a high-impact forward like Bertuzzi. He would make their top nine simply lethal, and this is especially so if his production increases while playing for a much better Bruins team.

Related: Bruins: 3 Forward Trade Targets After Missing Out on Barbashev

When looking at a potential spot for Bertuzzi in Boston’s lineup, I see two possibilities. The Sudbury native could work nicely on the Bruins’ second line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak due to his immensely gritty game and playmaking ability. However, he also could serve as an upgrade over Trent Frederic on the third line with Taylor Hall (once he returns) and Charlie Coyle. With that, his effective two-way play would make him option for both their power play and penalty kill.

Potential Trade Between Boston & Detroit

Dreger noted that the Red Wings are looking for a first-round pick and more in any move centering around Bertuzzi. When looking at some of the returns sellers have gotten this season, this is a reasonable request. Thus, a potential package Boston could send to Detroit for him could include their 2024 first-round pick, 2026 second-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick, Johnny Beecher, and Mike Reilly. With that, the Red Wings would need to retain half of Bertuzzi’s $4.75 million cap hit. The Bruins could also get a third team to retain 25% of Bertuzzi’s salary by sending them their 2024 fifth-round pick.

Mike Reilly, Boston Bruins
Mike Reilly, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Beecher stands out as a possible prospect that the Red Wings would be interested in. The 2019 first-round pick has the tools to become a potential third-line center in at the NHL level, but he also has been developing slowly. In 41 games this season with the Providence Bruins, the 6-foot-3 center has six goals to go along with 17 points.

As for Reilly, the Red Wings could use more depth on the left side of their defensive group, and he would give them just that. The 29-year-old is an NHL-caliber defenseman, but he is currently in the American Hockey League (AHL) due to his cap hit ($3 million) and Boston’s strong defensive group. With Detroit, however, he would be in the running to play bottom-pairing minutes. In 10 games with Boston this season, Reilly has an assist. With Providence, he has been a real difference-maker, as his 24 points in 27 games effectively display.

The Bruins are in a position to make a major splash at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, and bringing in another high-impact player like Bertuzzi would be doing just. We will need to wait and see if Bertuzzi becomes a Bruin before the deadline passes.