The Red Wings continued selling players in advance of Friday’s NHL trade deadline, moving forward Tyler Bertuzzi to the Boston Bruins.
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings today acquired a first-round selection in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft from the Boston Bruins in exchange for left wing Tyler Bertuzzi.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 2, 2023
I said earlier this week that, if I were Detroit GM Steve Yzerman, I’d look at moving Bertuzzi even if I believed the Red Wings still had a chance to make the playoffs this season – or at least be playing meaningful games in March and April – simply because you can’t afford to lose him for nothing as a free agent this summer. Getting back a first-round pick (even if it’s one we have to wait a year for) is worth it, in my mind. Especially given that there’s a high likelihood the Bruins (who have been running away with the league this year) are worse next year, resulting in that pick being better.
We can’t look at this in a vacuum, though. Combined with yesterday’s unexpected trade of Filip Hronek to the Vancouver Canucks, the Red Wings now have draft capital that they haven’t had in years and two new, large holes in their lineup. It’s entirely possible that there’s someone out there that Yzerman is buying on, using the resources brought in via the Bertuzzi and Hronek deals to do that.
Of course, it’s also possible that, after blowout losses to the Senators earlier this week, Yzerman is throwing in the towel on this season and these sales are just that, sales.
It’s also worth noting that the Red Wings retained 50% of Bertuzzi’s salary in the deal. Given that the team is nowhere near the cap, that’s to be expected, I think, and doesn’t hurt the Wings at all.
In all, I’m absolutely okay with this deal and happy that Bertuzzi’s stock didn’t drop such that a first-rounder was impossible. I am, however, curious about where things go from here.