Another Sad New: Just In Toronto Maple Leafs Top Experienced Star Player Just Agree Deal With New York Rangers…..

The NHL free agency period, which is set to begin on July 1st, is quickly approaching. If contract talks are postponed, the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to lose a couple of free agents.

The New York Rangers have been linked to forward Tyler Bertuzzi of the Leafs, who is a pending UFA. Vince Mercogliano of USA Today claims that Bertuzzi’s skill set “aligns well” with the requirements of the Rangers.

“One of the top skill-and-snarl players available, the 29-year-old fits Drury’s requirements perfectly,” Mercogliano wrote.

Bertuzzi had a “down offensive season” with low stats, the analyst admitted. Additionally, Mercogliano thinks that might lessen his demands in free agency, opening the door for the Rangers to try and sign him.

“Maybe that brings his asking price into a range that works for the Rangers? He’s coming off a down offensive season in which he only posted 43 points (21 goals and 22 assists) while being overshadowed by many of the Maple Leafs’ high-paid stars.”

Bertuzzi recently finished a $5.5 million, one-year deal with the Maple Leafs. Last season, he made 80 appearances during the regular season and scored 43 points, or 0.54 points per game, on average. In minutes, Bertuzzi also racked up 53 penalties.

Tyler Bertuzzi of the Maple Leafs is anticipated to test free agency.
On July 1, a significant portion of the Maple Leafs’ cap space will become available to free agents. According to PuckPedia, Toronto will have $19.7 million available for contract signings. But there are only 15 players on contract with the team.

The Leafs need to add some forwards, strengthen their blue line, and maybe sign two new goalies. It makes sense to let Bertuzzi investigate the market and get back to him later, considering the needs.

Bertuzzi said he would like to play for the Leafs again, but that might have to wait. Toronto wishes to maintain as much salary cap available on July 1st, according to a June 26 report from The Athletic’s James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel. Bertuzzi’s resigning before that date is therefore not anticipated.

The analysts stated, “The Leafs have a lot of forwards under contract, especially once they’ve signed their RFAs, but that two players who played in the top six most of last season and produced a combined 90 points that need to be replaced somehow are Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, who look likely to head to the open market on Monday.”

The NY Rangers Require A New Winger in the Top Six
Rangers General Manager Chris Drury is “exploring trades to free up even more cap space, with forward Kaapo Kakko and defenseman Jacob Trouba the leading candidates,” according to multiple league sources who spoke with Mercogliano prior to the draft.

Drury will be “forced to stay out of the deep end of the UFA pool,” according to Mercogliano’s report. That might prompt the Rangers to consider acquiring players like Bertuzzi.

Finding a right winger to play on the top line alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad is widely regarded as the Rangers’ top priority, according to Mercogliano. “They would also like to improve their defense, size, speed, and depth in the center.”

On the right wing, the Rangers alternated between Jack Roslovic, Filip Chytil, Alexis Lafreniere, and Kakko. But Kreider and Zibanejad’s coach, Peter Laviolette, never seemed to be able to find a suitable partner.

With 17 players under contract, PuckPedia projects that New York will have $13.7 million in cap space prior to free agency. The San Jose Sharks claimed Barclay Goodrow after the Rangers waived him, creating some cap space.


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