Rumor: Bruins move in on Tyler Bertuzzi following Taylor Hall trade
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Rumor: Bruins move in on Tyler Bertuzzi following Taylor Hall trade

Incoming contract extension for Bertuzzi in Boston?



In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins made two significant trades today, freeing up over $7.5 million in annual salary.

Up first they traded former 1st overall pick Taylor Hall to the Chicago Blackhawks in what essentially amounts to a pure salary cap dump on behalf of the Bruins.

The full deal sees the Blackhawks acquire Hall and pending unrestricted free agent Nick Foligno in exchange for pending restricted free agent defensemen Alex Regula and Ian Mitchell.

Check it out:

From the Bruins' official press release announcement:

BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, June 26, that the team has acquired defensemen Alec Regula and Ian Mitchell from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno .

Regula, 22, has appeared in 108 career games for the Rockford IceHogs, recording 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points in three seasons. Additionally, the 6-foot-4, 218-pound defenseman has played in 22 career NHL games with Chicago. The West Bloomfield, Michigan native was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round (67th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Mitchell, 24, has played in 82 career NHL games for Chicago, scoring four goals and 12 assists for 16 points through three seasons. The 5-foot-11, 173-pound blue liner has also played in 67 career AHL games for the IceHogs, scoring 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points through three seasons. The St. Albert, Alberta native was originally selected by Chicago in the second round (26th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

- Boston Bruins

Both Regula and Mitchell are likely in tough to crack the Bruins' defense corps for next season and will likely spend the majority of the campaign with the AHL's Providence Bruins. That is, if in fact the Bruins even have plans to re-sign them. I mean, they are RFA's after all and can hit the open market in four days without a qualifying offer. Clearly the Bruins are trying to clear some salary here and just shed the final two years of Hall's $6 million annual salary.

After that the Bruins dealt forward Shane Bowers to the New Jersey Devils for Framingham, MA native Reilly Walsh.

The Bruins now have $10.9 million in cap space to add nine roster players for next season. Their unsigned RFA's include Trent Frederic and Jeremy Swayman in addition to Mitchell and Regula. Unsigned UFA's include Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Dmitry Orlov, Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnet Hathaway, Tomas Nosek and Connor Clifton.

NHL insider David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that GM Don Sweeney's plan now is to get Bertuzzi under contract using the cash he freed up earlier in the afternoon.

From Pagnotta:

Frankly, I think the Bruins would be wise to get Bertuzzi under contract... up to a certain point. There's no denying the fact that he's worth the $6 million annually they paid to Hall, but I suspect he'll likely command $7 million + on the open market. After all, he's arguably the best free agent available this offseason. It'll be interesting to see what his next deal looks like, especially if he's able to come to terms with the Bruins.

Source: Boston Bruins