Tyler Bertuzzi is going to the NHL-best Boston Bruins in the latest move by a Stanley Cup contender to keep pace in the loaded Eastern Conference.
The Bruins acquired Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday for a top-10 protected first-round pick in 2024 and a fourth-rounder in 2025. Detroit is retaining half of Bertuzzi’s salary for the rest of the season.
Bertuzzi is a 28-year-old pending free agent winger who gives Boston depth up front and insurance for injured winger Taylor Hall. The team put Hall on long-term injured reserve, ruling him out until late March.
Enter Bertuzzi, who has himself been limited by injuries this season. He has 14 points in 29 games.
Bertuzzi has 88 goals and 114 assists in 305 regular-season games. He has yet to reach the playoffs in the NHL.
That will almost certainly change next month. The Bruins are on pace for 64 wins and 135 points, which would be the best regular season in hockey history with records in each of those categories.
Four years since the Lightning tied the league record for wins and got swept in the first round of the playoffs, the Bruins aren’t standing pat. They got defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from Washington last week — a move that made them bigger and tougher in advance of a rough road through the East.
It got rougher in recent days.
Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina acquired defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and winger Jesse Puljujarvi, the New York Rangers traded for three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Kane, the Islanders got depth forward Pierre Engvall, Tampa Bay gave up five picks for 25-year-old forward Tanner Jeannot, Pittsburgh shuffled its roster to bring in Mikael Gralund and Toronto continued a roster makeover that has added up to six new players joining the Maple Leafs. Even Ottawa, five points out of a playoff spot, made a big splash by getting Jakob Chychrun from Arizona.
Entering Thursday, the Red Wings are tied in the standings with the Senators, but general manager Steve Yzerman is opting to sell rather than buy. Before moving on from Bertuzzi, he traded defenseman Filip Hronek to Vancouver in a deal that got his team a first-round pick.
Detroit also took care of some internal business Wednesday, signing captain Dylan Larkin to a $69.6 million, eight-year extension to keep the three-time All-Star center in the fold through 2031. Boston did the same Thursday with MVP candidate David Pastrnak, inking him to an eight-year deal worth $90 million — the sixth-most lucrative contract in NHL history.
There was little concern about Larkin going anywhere and none with Pastrnak. Among the players still expected to be traded before the deadline Friday at 3 p.m. EST are Philadelphia winger James van Riemsdyk, Anaheim defenseman John Klingberg and three-time Cup-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick, who was sent from Los Angeles to Columbus this week but is expected to be flipped to a contender.
Arizona could also part with any number of pending free agents and players signed beyond this season after acquiring Jakub Voracek’s contract from the Blue Jackets along with a 2023 sixth-round pick for minor-league goalie Jon Gillies. The Coyotes can use the $8.25 million cap hit through next season for Voracek — whose career is likely over because of concussions — to avoid dipping below the salary floor, while Columbus gets some financial flexibility.
Among other moves Thursday, St. Louis re-signed Sammy Blais to a $1 million, one-year extension. The Blues reacquired Blais in the trade that sent Vladimir Tarasenko to the Rangers, who now have a lineup with the prolific scoring winger and Kane
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