Detroit Red Wings: Arbitrator announces settlement for Tyler Bertuzzi

(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports) /

After deliberations, the salary arbitrator handed Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi a one-year, $3.5 million settlement for the 2020-21 season.

The Detroit Red Wings have reached terms of a contract with forward Tyler Bertuzzi after the salary arbitrator handed out a one-year, $3.5 million contract. The Red Wings came into negotiations offering $3.15 million while Bertuzzi was seeking $4.25 million.

In the end, the arbitrator would settle the deliberations in favor of General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings after his $3.5 million valuation. Bertuzzi is arguably the third-best forward on the Red Wings behind forwards Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha.

After two back-to-back good seasons, Bertuzzi will look to continue the success again in 2020-21. He will be a restricted free agent once again after the 2020-21 season, eligible for arbitration once again, meaning this process could happen once more next offseason.

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The thought is if Bertuzzi goes on a tear in 2020-21 or even can continue to prove he will produce, Yzerman may reward him with a contract extension.

However, Yzerman will have to be cognizant of the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft that could offer some roadblocks.

Bertuzzi should be kept around; that is not up for debate. He can be an integral of this forward core and work well with some of the younger talents that they have coming up and on the way.

This past season, Bertuzzi would play in 71 games for the Red Wings, which was the full season due to COVID-19, which shortened the season.

In those 71 games, Bertuzzi managed 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 total points for the Red Wings. In the year before, Bertuzzi played in 73 games for the Red Wings, where he notched 21 goals and 26 assists for 47 total points.

He will be back in the winged-wheel uniform once again during the 2020-21 season after the arbitrator made the final ruling. Now the Red Wings have a unique opportunity to explore in the coming days.

The settlement for Tyler Bertuzzi now leaves the Detroit Red Wings with the chance to complete another buyout if they choose to.

Due to a clause or loophole that allows teams to clear some cap space following an arbitration hearing, a chance to perform a buyout will now open up for the Detroit Red Wings. Even though the deadline for buyouts has come and gone, the Red Wings will have another chance.

The organization already performed a buyout on Justin Abdelkader this offseason, but they can now pursue another, maybe Frans Nielsen. This window will be open for two days after the hearing, so Yzerman will have to act relatively fast if he wants to capitalize on this opportunity.

While Nielsen does provide some minimal value with the organization as a mentoring veteran to the younger players. However, the $5.25 million cap hit for the next two years is just not fun to look at, considering he is basically eating up a roster spot.

Given that the Red Wings have the cap space, the buyout may not be worth it, but the organization at least has the opportunity to complete it nonetheless. So keep an eye out for Yzerman to make another roster move in an offseason that has been full of roster moves.

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For now, Tyler Bertuzzi will keep preparing to get back on the ice with the Detroit Red Wings for the 2020-21 season, and the front office will contemplate using this unique buyout opportunity.