NASHVILLE — Taylor Hall is no longer a Boston Bruin.
On Monday, the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms on a trade involving the 2010 top overall pick. The Bruins also included the UFA rights for Nick Foligno.
Hall, who didn’t initially have the Blackhawks on his 16-team no-trade list, ends a productive three-year run in Boston after providing versatility within the middle-six. But the Conor Bedard allure likely convinced Hall to waive his NTC.
Foligno endured a bounce-back season in 2022-23, becoming the Bruins’ nominee for the Masterton Award given “to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
In return, the Bruins received RFA rights to defensemen Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula. Both blue-liners arrive with NHL experience — albeit with a combined 104 games over three seasons — and give the Bruins some needed size and depth on the back end.
Mitchell spent a season under Jim Montgomery’s tutelage during his collegiate career at the University of Denver.
Whether Mitchell or Regula develop into full-time NHL regulars is anyone’s guess. But Monday’s trade provides some much-needed breathing room for general manager Don Sweeney during another pivotal off-season.
Without retaining any of Hall’s salary, the Bruins are now looking at a little over $10.9 million of projected salary cap space. And Sweeney may consider increasing more space for a potential deal with Tyler Bertuzzi.
Hall and Bertuzzi stood out among Boston’s forward core during the first-round series with Florida. Both produced over a point per game during the seven-game series. But the Bruins likely couldn’t keep both under contract for next season, thus providing Sweeney a little more room to work with for his negotiations with Bertuzzi’s camp.
Bertuzzi highlights the list of Boston’s pending UFAs, which also includes fellow 2023 trade deadline additions Dmitri Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, defenseman Connor Clifton, fourth-line center Tomas Nosek and two of the B’s top centers in franchise history in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
This may only be just the beginning of Sweeney’s salary cap maneuvers. Between Bertuzzi’s negotiations, the impending decisions on Krejci’s and Bergeron’s futures, and raises due for RFAs Trent Frederic and Jeremy Swayman, the Bruins may look to offload more contracts, with Matt Grzelcyk and Linus Ullmark still sitting atop the potential cap casualty list.
Sweeney made another deal several minutes later, this time involving the New Jersey Devils. The two squads exchanged in a relatively minor transaction, with the Bruins acquiring defenseman Reilly Walsh, a Framingham native, for Shane Bowers.
The rumor mill will only intensify with the NHL Draft opening on Wednesday and free agency beginning three days later.
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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