Why the Bruins and Red Wings made the Tyler Bertuzzi trade and what’s next

Written by Pierre Lebrun, Flotto Chenzua, Max Bultmann, and Eric Duhaczyk

The Detroit Red Wings have traded forward Tyler Bertuzzi to the Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings said Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Detroit will receive a 2024 first-round draft pick (top 10 protected) and a 2025 fourth-round draft pick in exchange for Bertuzzi’s trade.
  • The Red Wings will keep 50 percent of Bertuzzi’s salary.
  • Bertuzzi, 28, has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 29 games this season.
  • The Bruins are 47-8-5 this season and are in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Trade deadline is Friday at 3 PM ET: Tune in here for live updates.

Why Bruins adds Bertuzzi

Whether Bertuzzi was in the Bruins’ initial plans is unknown. It may be that injuries to Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno made the Bruins improvise, though. Hall will not play Thursday due to a lower body injury that has kept him out for the last two games. Foligno limped off the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday after taking a knock from Nikita Zadorov.

Bertuzzi’s left snap gives the Bruins insurance pending Hall and Foligno’s condition. – Shinzo

Next up for Boston: the salary cap move

The Bruins will have to execute a transaction today to achieve cap compliance. They are expected to be over the cap, even with Detroit keeping 50 percent of Bertuzzi’s salary. They can put Hall (average annual value $6 million) on injured reserve for the long term. However, the severity of Hall’s lower-body injury is unknown.

The Bruins could also find a receiver in Mike Reilly ($3 million AAV), who is currently buried in the AHL. – Shinzo

Why the Red Wings made the trade

Bertuzzi has grown from a tough second-round match into a staple for the Red Wings throughout their rebuilding period, scoring 30 goals last season. But he’s a suspended unrestricted free agent and the Red Wings have now moved in to make sure they get something for one of their best players. The number one player of 2024 (top 10 protected) may be more exciting than it seems at first glance, coming from a Bruins team that has some key players whose futures are uncertain beyond this season.

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As with the Islanders pick acquired via Vancouver, it remains to be seen if the Red Wings will keep or move the pick, but by making this deal they are making sure they don’t lose Bertuzzi for nothing and get a decent return in the process. – Bultmann

The Red Wings are now sold out. So what’s next?

Suffice it to say that Detroit management pulled the chute of the team’s latest push. The question is, how far does this sale go? The bottom six forwards Oscar Sundqvist and Pius Suter are also waiting for UFAs who can help the contenders. Jacob Vrana remains a possibility to be dealt with. There are definitely more balls in the air for the Red Wings with 29 hours left before the deadline.

And on the ice, eyes are now on how the locker room will react to seeing two rebuilt building blocks shipped out within 24 hours after a pair of disheartening losses in Ottawa. Last year, Detroit struggled after another sell-out expiration in the trade dampened morale. – Bultmann

Go deeper

What does the Red Wings debacle in Ottawa mean for their playoff hopes, and the trade deadline?

Scout report

Bertuzzi played his seven-year career with the Red Wings after they selected him in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Coming out of the All-Star break, Bertuzzi finally scored his second goal in an injury-plagued season—and then his ice time increased dramatically, an indication the Red Wings might be trying to show it. Detroit’s priority was always trying to get Bertuzzi, a suspended unrestricted free agent, to a contract extension. Failing that, he’s had to see what the powerful winger can get who will lead to the net and last year he produced 62 points in 68 games, second best on the team.

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Bertuzzi has seen limited action this year. He broke his hand on October 15, then shortly after returning to the Red Wings lineup after missing 13 games, broke his other hand and just returned to action the second week of January. Bertuzzi earns $4.75 million in the final year of his deal. – Duhachik

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(Photo: David Kerouac/USA Today)

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