Tyler Bertuzzi was the Ideal Move, after the Departure of Ryan O'Reilly

Tyler Bertuzzi was the Boston Bruins leading point scorer during their 2022-23 playoff run, with ten points in seven games.

As announced on Sunday by public relations, Leafs GM, Brad Treliving has come to terms with unrestricted free agent Tyler Bertuzzi. The two parties have settled on a one-year contract, with an AAV of $5.5M. The deal consists of a base salary of $775,000, along with a $4,725,000 signing bonus.
Bertuzzi, a Sudbury native, is coming off of career low numbers. The newest Leaf started the season off with the Detroit Red Wings before being dealt to the rival Boston Bruins at the trade deadline. Bertuzzi notched just 30 points in 50 regular season games last season, as he missed a good chunk of the season recovering from multiple injuries.

July 1, 2023: The Key Departures

Day 1 of NHL Free Agency was straight out rough for Leafs Nation. The team lost several key components of their 2022-23 squad including Luke Schenn, and Ryan O'Reilly who both signed multi-year contracts with the Nashville Predators.

O'Reilly was a massive component of the Leafs' roster, finding early success with the team O'Reilly arrived in Toronto after a midseason trade with the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. The former-Leaf, O'Reilly played in 24 total games recording 20 points.

What Does Bertuzzi bring to the Lineup?

Bertuzzi will bring the much needed physicality to the Maple Leafs' top-six. As shown in his brief stint in Boston, Bertuzzi solidified a line with both David Pastrnak, and David Krejci. Bertuzzi brings a trait that not all superstars possess. He is true grider. He is constantly dogging and wearing out his opponents deep in the offensive zone, by engaging in board battles, and winning puck possession.

In addition, Bertuzzi can be described as a rich-man's Michael Bunting. He is the type of player that you would love to have on your team, but hate to play against. Bertuzzi has the ability to draw pressure off of Toronto's superstars, he is an agitator, that does not shy away from the physical part of the game. Bertuzzi will likely take the role of Michael Bunting from last season, playing alongside the first or second line.

Contrastingly, Bertuzzi brings no shortage of offensive capability to an already loaded Leafs' lineup. Just two seasons ago, the Sudbury native carved a career high in points with 62 points in 68 games.

Leafs Projected Top-Six (from capfriendly users)