Can the Bruins realistically re-sign any of their trade-deadline leases?


With a bit of below $5 million in obtainable cap area, the Bruins must be artistic this offseason.

Bruinjs Tyler Bertuzzi(rt) celebrates his 3rd period goal with Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) (left) and Dmitry Orlov.
The Bruins have to maneuver loads of cash out in the event that they wish to re-sign each Tyler Bertuzzi and Dmitry Orlov. John Tlumacki/Globe Workers

The 2023-24 Bruins are going to look very totally different from the roster that rewrote the document books during the last a number of months.

Regardless that Boston has key cogs like David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Jake DeBrusk and plenty of others all signed by way of subsequent season, the Bruins have one other eight gamers to set to enter free company this summer season.

The record is intensive, and chock filled with expertise: Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway, Nick Foligno, Connor Clifton, and Tomas Nosek.

Shedding that many contracts in a single offseason often opens the door for fiscal flexibility and on-the-fly retooling. However even when Don Sweeney and the Bruins wished to retain most of their 2022-23 squad, Boston isn’t essentially flush with cap room.

With Pastrnak’s megadeal kicking in and $4.5 million in bonus overages on each Bergeron and Krejci’s bargain-bin offers set to land on subsequent season’s books, the Bruins are projected to enter the summer season with just below $5 million in cap area.

And that’s with out Boston’s two top-six facilities signed, together with a number of different contributors up and down the depth chart.

With the intention to add to this group, the Bruins must get artistic this summer season. Boston might need to both ink gamers to below-market offers as soon as once more, or transfer different contracts on the roster as a way to liberate extra space.

The stakes concerned with each Bergeron and Krejci’s pending choices are evident. Boston will depart it as much as each pivots to chart their subsequent transfer, even when a return for both star ahead will doubtless contain one other low-value contract. 

However what about Bertuzzi, Orlov, and Hathaway — the trio of leases that Sweeney and his workers relinquished 5 draft picks for (together with two first-rounders) as a way to put the 2022-23 group excessive?

Ideally, the Bruins retain at the least a type of three skaters shifting ahead, particularly if Boston plans to contend within the years forward.

However that’s an offseason endeavor simpler mentioned than completed for Sweeney and his workers.

Tyler Bertuzzi, F

Apart from Boston’s ageing two-headed monster down the center, Bertuzzi will probably be Sweeney’s high precedence by way of his offseason agenda.

Added as a last-second contingency plan on the commerce deadline following accidents to each Taylor Corridor and Nick Foligno, Bertuzzi made probably the most of his quick stint in Boston this spring.

After posting 16 factors (4 targets, 12 assists) in 24 regular-season matchups, Bertuzzi thrived in his first foray within the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He posted 10 factors (5 targets, 5 assists) in Boston’s seven-game collection in opposition to Florida, displaying each poised netfront play and a few encouraging chemistry subsequent to Pastrnak.

Following Boston’s season-ending loss on April 30, the 28-year-old Bertuzzi stored his choices open forward of his pending payday.

“Yeah, I haven’t actually considered it truthfully an excessive amount of,” Bertuzzi famous. “It’s form of been a whirlwind right here, solely form of two days after, so speak with some household after which we’ll go from there.”

Bertuzzi’s agent, Todd Reynolds, told Matt Porter of The Boston Globe that each he and the Bruins “haven’t had any talks” because the season wrapped. 

Bertuzzi’s puck play and D-zone work left fairly a bit to be desired this season. However his offensive capabilities could have loads of groups lining as much as hand him a hefty contract this summer season.

Ideally, the Bruins wish to be close to the highest of that record of suitors.

As we mentioned earlier this offseason, the Bruins are hoping for extra of an efficient retool as a substitute of a prolonged rebuild this offseason and past.

Locking up a participant like Bertuzzi long-term and entrenching him right into a top-six position for the subsequent five-plus seasons offers Boston one other piece to assist maintain them within the playoff image.

Even when Krejci was to hold up his skates this summer season, a reworked second line of Bertuzzi, Pavel Zacha, and Pastrnak will nonetheless dole out loads of injury within the offensive zone subsequent yr.

Sure, Bertuzzi is a gifted winger able to serving to this group in future seasons. However as a way to maintain him in Boston, Sweeney and Co. will doubtless want to maneuver Taylor Corridor’s contract, if not one other lineup common as a way to accommodate such a transfer.

Linus Ullmark? Jake DeBrusk? Each Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort? Quite a few contracts must be shredded off of Boston’s books as a way to maintain Bertuzzi in place.

Dmitry Orlov, D

The Bruins had an abundance of riches on its blue line after prying Orlov out of Washington this winter, particularly when giving the 31-year-old defenseman the keys to his personal pairing additional down on the depth chart.

Within the postseason, Orlov’s defensive fortitude and physicality doubtless fell under expectations. However his booming shot and passing skills added one other layer of assault to Boston’s lineup.

In Orlov’s 30 complete video games with Boston in 2023, the Russian skater scored 4 targets and posted 25 complete factors.

Orlov confused that he loved his time in Boston through the group’s break-up day final Tuesday. However he was cognizant of the potential pay elevate he earned for himself off this quick stint with the Bruins.

“It mainly feels prefer it’s my final contract,” Orlov mentioned. “I’m going to be 32. We’ll see.”

Once more, would the Bruins like to maintain Orlov and have him anchor a separate D pairing from McAvoy and Lindholm? In fact.

However Boston doesn’t have the means to maintain each Bertuzzi and Orlov this summer season. They could not even have the wiggle room to maintain one, even with one other commerce or two.

And despite the fact that Orlov was a internet constructive for Boston during the last three months, there’s loads of threat concerned with handing a blueliner like him one other 5 or six-year deal at over $6 million per yr — particularly when he turns 32 in July.

Boston would possibly profit within the quick time period if Orlov is again in 2023-24, there’s little doubt.

However because the Bruins look to retool and put collectively a sustainable core for the long run, the very last thing they need is a possible albatross contract on their books two or three years down the road.

Garnet Hathaway, F

Added as a bodily equalizer able to including some scoring punch to the checking unit, Hathaway doled out 70 hits and 6 factors over his 25 regular-season video games with Boston.

However his influence waned within the postseason, particularly after taking a late shot to the ribs off a cross-check from Matthew Tkachuk.

The Biddeford, Maine, native joined the acquainted refrain of deadline pickups who raved about his time in Boston.

“From the second I obtained right here, I’ve mentioned it just a few occasions — I felt welcomed,” Hathaway mentioned. “It was a bunch that introduced me, Orly and Bert in as if we’d been right here all season. That was the way it felt.

“That’s the way it transitioned onto the ice too, the chemistry was nice with the strains we have been on and the group we have been with, and I believe that was constructed from how the fellows handled us and the characters on this room. It was actually particular.”

Regardless that Hathaway’s profile as a fourth-line grinder doubtless gained’t command high greenback, his knack for racking up hits and pestering opponents will doubtless make him a sought-after free agent.

Finally, Hathaway will doubtless be priced out of Boston, particularly with the Bruins doubtless trying internally for reinforcements on the fourth line. Don’t be shocked if younger skaters like Jakub Lauko, Oskar Steen, and Marc McLaughlin make a push for these minutes throughout coaching camp this fall.

Who else? 

The remainder of Boston’s crop of free brokers doubtless fall below comparable circumstances because the three skaters listed above.

Tomas Nosek and Nick Foligno have been helpful foot troopers on Boston’s fourth line final season. However odds are that Boston saves some money by pivoting to youthful gamers in Windfall in 2023-24.

Foligno did observe final Tuesday that there’s mutual curiosity on a return, nevertheless it’d doubtless must be facilitated by a veteran minimal contract or a bonus-laden deal.

Connor Clifton’s struggles within the postseason have been an unlucky ending to an in any other case stellar yr for the Quinnipiac product. After years of serving as a seventh possibility on Boston’s D corps, Clifton helped anchor the Bruins third D pair all season lengthy.

Boston would possibly worth Clifton’s contributions, however he’s the newest in a rising line of skaters who in all probability costs himself out of city along with his subsequent contract.

As for Bergeron and Krejci, the ready sport will proceed for the subsequent few weeks.

The Bruins will maintain out hope that each facilities decide to not have this first-round exit be the ultimate chapter of their illustrious careers. 

Nonetheless the percentages of getting each facilities again in black-and-gold sweaters in 2023 feels slim … at greatest. 

Originally posted 2023-05-09 03:55:41.