Detroit Red Wings: 3 of Steve Yzerman’s offseason mistakes in 2020

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 4
Detroit Red Wings
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Not giving Tyler Bertuzzi a long-term deal.

The Detroit Red Wings needed to negotiate with a pair of important restricted free agent (RFA) contracts this fall, one with Anthony Mantha and the other with Tyler Bertuzzi.  Yzerman was able to come to terms with both players but with only one being signed long-term.

The often injured Mantha landed a four-year deal that averages $5.7 million per season, leaving Bertuzzi to sign a ‘prove it’ deal for at least one more time on a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Here’s the thing, paying Bertuzzi $3.5 million is a bargain for the Detroit Red Wings, I have no issue with that, but I would have preferred to see the work-horse Bertuzzi land a multi-year deal similar to Mantha’s.

I would be reluctant to sign Bertuzzi to a deal nearing $6-million per season, but I would have liked to see Yzerman lock up the ‘worker-bee’ in Bertuzzi to a five-year contract that averaged somewhere around $4-$4.5 million per season. Bertuzzi has compiled 119 points in 199 NHL games played.  He’s recorded 49 goals and added 70 assists.  Mantha sits at 173 points over 260 games played, scoring 84 goals.

I know I’m nitpicking a bit on this one, and Bertuzzi will still be an RFA at seasons’ end, so there will be time to extend him then.  I would like to see Larkin, Mantha, and Bertuzzi all remain with the Detroit Red Wings through this entire rebuild.