NHL-best Bruins get Bertuzzi in latest trade in loaded East


Tyler Bertuzzi joins the NHL-best Boston Bruins in the latest move from a Stanley Cup contender to keep up in the strained Eastern Conference.

The Bruins acquired Bertuzzi Thursday from the Detroit Red Wings for a top-10 first-round pick in 2024 and a fourth-rounder in 2025. Detroit will keep half of Bertuzzi’s salary for the remainder of the season.

Bertuzzi is a 28-year-old upcoming free-agent winger who is adding depth up front for Boston and insuring injured winger Taylor Hall. The team placed Hall on long-term injury reserve, ruling him out until the end of March.

Enter Bertuzzi, who himself has 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 make the playoffs in the NHL.

That will almost certainly change next month. The Bruins are on their way to 64 wins and 135 points for what would be the best regular season in hockey history with records in each of those categories.

Four years since the Lightning set the league record for wins and were swept in the first round of the playoffs, the Bruins haven’t stood still. They got defender Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from Washington last week – a move that has left them taller and tougher ahead of a bumpy road through the East.

It’s been getting rougher the past few days.

The Metropolitan Division’s leading Carolina took on defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and winger Jesse Puljujarvi, the New York Rangers traded for three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Kane, the Islanders got deep forward Pierre Engvall, and Tampa Bay gave up five picks for the 25-year-old forward Tanner Jeannot, Pittsburgh shuffled their roster to bring in Mikael Gralund and Toronto continued a roster overhaul that saw the addition of up to six new players to the Maple Leafs. Even Ottawa, five points from a playoff spot, made a splash by bringing in Jakob Chychrun from Arizona.

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On Thursday, the Red Wings are level with the Senators on the table, but general manager Steve Yzerman is opting to sell rather than buy. Before joining from Bertuzzi, he traded defender Filip Hronek to Vancouver to secure a first-round pick for his team.

Detroit also took care of some internal matters on Wednesday, signing captain Dylan Larkin on an eight-year, $69.6 million extension to keep the three-time All-Star center in the herd through 2031. Boston did the same with MVP candidate David Pastrnak on Thursday. He received an eight-year contract worth $90 million – the sixth-biggest contract in NHL history.

There was little concern about Larkin going anywhere, and none when it came to Pastrnak. Players expected to be traded before Friday’s 3 p.m. EST deadline include Philadelphia winger James van Riemsdyk, Anaheim defender John Klingberg and three-time cup-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick, who this week was sent to Columbus from Los Angeles but is expected to be turned over to a candidate.

Arizona could also part ways with any number of upcoming free agents and players signed after this season after receiving Jakub Voracek’s contract from the Blue Jackets along with a 2023 sixth-round pick for minor-league goaltender Jon Gillies . The Coyotes can use the $8.25 million cap set for Voracek next season – whose career is likely to be over due to concussions – to avoid him falling below the salary floor while Columbus does some financial work gains flexibility.

Among others, St. Louis re-signed Sammy Blais Thursday for a one-year, $1 million extension. The Blues recaptured Blais in the trade that sent Vladimir Tarasenko to Rangers, who now have a line-up featuring the prolific winger and Kane

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