Boston Hockey Now columnist Joe Haggerty wrote Friday that the Bruins need to prioritize the re-signing of Tyler Bertuzzi before he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Haggerty’s logic isn’t complicated: The former Red Wings player was among the few Bruins who distinguished themselves during their failed postseason. Plus, his gritty approach fits well with how the Bruins want to play.
That would keep Bertuzzi in the Red Wings’ division.
The re-signing of Bertuzzi will be no easy task for the Bruins who went all in on their ill-fated attempt to win the Stanley Cup this season. They don’t have much cap room left to sign Bertuzzi who led Boston with five goals and 10 points in the seven-game loss to the Florida Panthers.
Bertuzzi was far from perfect with the Bruins. He had some glaring turnovers — the kind that Red Wings fans have seen before. Despite the 10 points, he was -4 in the series.
But clearly Boston coach Jim Montgomery liked Bertuzzi’s blend of abilities. He used him on the top line, and in crucial situations.
Bruins Can Only Afford to Sign One
“(But) I couldn’t just categorically sign those players today,” said Sweeney, when specifically asked about the three impending UFAs traded at the deadline. “You know, our cap situation, we leveraged a little bit. Everybody knows our overage at [$4.5 million]. So, we have some constraints, as do several other teams around the league. Our goal was to put the season on the absolute best roster we could put together and try and take a real legitimate run and we failed, no question.”
Much will depend upon what veteran forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci decide to do. Are they playing another season? Are they retiring?
Regardless of what happens with Bergeron and Krejci, the Bruins might be able to sign one of the three pending UFAs. You can make an argument for Orlov who adds another layer of experience and effectiveness to the defense. But he will cost more than Bertuzzi.
Another plus for Bertuzzi is he is popular with his teammates. GM Steve Yzerman’s logical decision to move Bertuzzi shook up the Detroit team for a bit.
Haggerty believes if only one of the UFAs can be re-signed, it should be Bertuzzi because he is the best fit.