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Former Leafs winger Tyler Bertuzzi openly admits to Blackhawks tampering


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Ryan Smitheram
July 5, 2024  (4:16 PM)
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Tyler Bertuzzi signed with Chicago on July first
Photo credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Bertuzzi revealed in his interview with Chicago media that former Leaf Nick Foligno called him the day before free agency and convinced him to join Chicago.

In a shocking turn of events after discussions with the Leafs, Tyler Bertuzzi decided to leave Toronto to sign a four-year deal with the Hawks worth $5.5M per season. Bertuzzi met with the Chicago media today and revealed that Chicago wasn't on his list of teams he was interested in until he spoke with former Leaf Nick Foligno the day before free agency.
The Leafs were hopeful that Bertuzzi would re-sign in Toronto and they negotiated with the pending UFA right up until the day before free agency. Unfortunately, he chose to chase the money, as it is his right to do. The problem is, the Blackhawks were not supposed to speak with him until July 1st.
This isn't the first time that the Leafs have lost out on re-signing a player thanks to them speaking to another team prior to free agency, as it happened last season with Luke Schenn and two seasons ago with Jack Campbell, not that the Leafs regret not signing either of them.
Although the league frowns upon 'tampering' and having conversations with other teams prior to July 1st, it appears that they will continue to turn a blind eye to it as we also learned prior to free agency that Brett Pesce was joining the New Jersey Devils. How could such a thing happen without any prior conversations?
Bertuzzi will provide the Hawks and Connor Bedard with veteran experience alongside the aforementioned Foligno in a mentorship type role. His style of play will be missed by the Leafs and they will be hard-pressed to find a replacement, but at least he didn't go back to the Boston Bruins or another Eastern Conference rival of the Leafs.
Source for Tyler Bertuzzi's player profile: NHL.com
Tyler Bertuzzi's player profile
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Former Leafs winger Tyler Bertuzzi openly admits to Blackhawks tampering

Will the league ever clamp down on 'tampering'?

Absolutely not18622.7 %
They won't but should52163.5 %
I think they'll do something about it eventually11313.8 %
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