NHL Rumors: Patrice Bergeron, Kris Letang, and Tyler Bertuzzi
This is shaping up to be an interesting offseason with the number of high-profile players expected to become unrestricted free agents on July 13.
Among the group are several key veterans like Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. There is also the potential for several players with term that could be traded as well, including Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi.
Today’s NHL rumors delves further into all three players.
NHL Rumors: UFA’s, Kris Letang and Patrice Bergeron
“What I can tell you is that there’s been ongoing talk with Kris Letang and the Pittsburgh Penguins, less so with Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins but that’s more or less by design,” Darren Dreger noted on TSN Insider Trading. “Bergeron wants to focus on the season, so does Letang, but they’ve had more of a connection in Pittsburgh with the Letang camp. Slow progress on Letang, but a willingness to be more patient between Boston and Patrice Bergeron.”
The info on Letang is not really new except that they are still talking. Back in March, VP of Hockey Ops Brian Burke noted that discussions took place with all pending free agents with no rush to get something done.
Letang, 34, is in the final season of a contract that comes with an AAV of $7.25 million. This year, he’s registered 64 points in 74 games. There’s no doubt there will be a market for Letang, but with a fairly stagnant salary cap that list will grow short if he wants big bucks and anything over 3 years.
As for the Bruins captain, it is almost impossible to see him play anywhere else.
Bergeron, 36, is coming off an 8 year-deal with a cap hit of $6.75 million. He’s still highly competitive and productive with 56 points in 69 games.
“I’m going to play out this year, and then talk about that after,” Bergeron said before the season started. “I think for me, the way that I approach this year is I want to concentrate on this year. I have a year left on my contract, and I think it’d be useless of me to think about the future.”
Thus far he’s held true to that statement and the two sides will come to amicable terms after the season.
NHL Rumors: Tyler Bertuzzi trade bait?
As the NHL Trade Deadline rolled closer to its March 21 date a new name popped up on many trade bait boards– Tyler Bertuzzi.
The 27 year-old winger had a hot start to the season despite being the center of controversy as one of the NHL’s few unvaccinated players. Unable to cross the border to play in Canada, he posted some strong numbers.
This season, he’s potted 28 goals and 57 points in 65 games. However, this is another lost season for the Detroit Red Wings with change on the horizon.
The most likely move will be the dismissal of head coach Jeff Blashill and then some roster changes. GM Steve Yzerman will certainly look to get younger and will use a player like Bertuzzi to accomplish that.
One team that I could see ready to add a player like Bertuzzi are the New York Islanders. After a disappointing year, Lou Lamoriello has already said he’s looking to make hockey deals.
One such hockey trade could be adding Bertuzzi, who is a hard-nosed scoring forward that would be a fit for a Barry Trotz team.
Golden Knights refute reports
What’s going on in Vegas? The Golden Knights are refuting reports that goalie Robin Lehner is having season-ending surgery. Things just keep getting stranger and stranger in Sin City. You can read more about the story here.