While the Detroit Red Wings have made a flurry of moves in free agency this offseason, they also appear to be closing in on a new extension with one of their top young players, as they’ve reportedly exchanged financials with forward Tyler Bertuzzi ahead of his arbitration meeting.
Arbitration filing for Tyler Bertuzzi (DET): Team is $3.15M; player is $4.25M.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 23, 2020
While both sides appear to be just over $1 million apart on a one-year deal, they still have a few days to agree to a new contract, as Bertuzzi’s hearing isn’t scheduled to begin until Sunday. That being said, if neither side can come to terms before then, a final decision on the youngster’s salary will come within 48 hours after their meeting.
Considering the 25-year old is coming off his 2019-20 salary of $1.4 million, it seems he’s destined to receive a solid raise during his fifth season in the league and he’ll also become a restricted free agent once again next offseason. With that in mind, the Red Wings could face a similar situation with the 6-foot-1 winger after next season, as he’ll likely be asking for an even larger figure over a one-year deal.
Over his 71 games in 2019-20, Bertuzzi produced career-highs in average ice time (19:19 minutes), points (48), goals per game (0.3), points per game (0.38), and also created 129 shots on net, 71 hits, 30 blocks, and 25 takeaways.
Based on his results over the last two campaigns – scoring over 20 goals and nearly hitting 50 points each season – the former second-round pick has certainly proven he deserves to be rewarded for his excellent showing and it appears his hard work is about to pay off. Even if his contract only carries through the 2020-21 season, it’s clear the left-hander is a massive piece of this team’s future and they’ll need to keep him around for the foreseeable future.
Since Detroit still owns just over $17.26 million in cap space for next season, according to Spotrac.com, they shouldn’t have any issues re-signing Bertuzzi and teammate Anthony Mantha, who also needs a new contract this offseason. Whenever hockey returns to North America this winter, both of these skaters are expected to hit the ice at Little Caesars Arena to help the club improve off their disappointing performance from this past season.