Bruins Offseason

Tyler Bertuzzi leaves Bruins for rival Maple Leafs in free agency

Bertuzzi was a key piece for the B's after being acquired at the trade deadline.

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Not only is Tyler Bertuzzi moving on from the Bruins in free agency -- he's heading to one of Boston's top rivals in the Eastern Conference.

Bertuzzi is signing a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency, the team announced Sunday afternoon.

B's general manager Don Sweeney confirmed Saturday that the door for a possible Bertuzzi return was almost certainly closed.

“The term that he has rightfully probably earned, the AAV (average annual value) that he’s seeking and what other teams are in position to provide that we probably weren’t, unless I made another big move and again, he’s going to land in a really good spot for him and his family and we wish him luck,” Sweeney told reporters. “He was a great piece of our puzzle and dearly would like to have gone down the path to extend him.”

The Bruins acquired Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings ahead of the 2022-23 trade deadline in exchange for a 2024 protected first-round pick and a 2025 fourth-round pick. The 28-year-old winger was a key piece for the B's down the stretch, tallying four goals and 12 assists in 21 games. He totaled eight goals and 22 assists in 50 games between Detroit and Boston.

Bertuzzi joins a growing list of players from the 2022-23 Bruins to find new homes this offseason. Prior to the 2023 NHL Draft, Boston traded Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno to the Chicago Blackhawks. Dmitry Orlov (Carolina Hurricanes), Garnet Hathaway (Philadelphia Flyers), and Connor Clifton (Buffalo Sabres) also have departed in free agency.

The Bruins were active on the free-agent market on Saturday, however. They reunited with Milan Lucic and inked James van Riemsdyk, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Morgan Geekie to deals.

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