The Florida Panthers ended the Boston Bruins’ historic 2022-23 season in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, causing torment for Bruins fans who fully expected Lord Stanley to return to Boston.

That doesn’t appear to have been enough.

The Panthers reportedly have significant interest in Bruins free agent Tyler Bertuzzi, according to Andy Strickland of Bally Sports.

Bertuzzi put himself in a tremendous position after being acquired by the Bruins at the NHL trade deadline, scoring 16 points across 21 regular season games and totaling 10 more points in seven playoff games. Those numbers have put him in the highest tier of free agents this offseason, which is exactly why Florida is expected to pursue him.

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The Panthers were one step away from raising the Stanley Cup in 2023, and saw exactly how good Bertuzzi could be when he torched them in the first round. Now, Matthew Tkachuk and company want him putting together game-changing plays for them.

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The Bruins certainly won’t go down without a fight, however,

Boston opened up some cap room with Monday’s trade that sent Taylor Hall to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for two defensive prospects. That opened up around $6 million and should keep them in the mix to re-sign Bertuzzi.

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It just won’t be easy.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images