With the NHL season barely completed, the rumor mill is already in full force. One of the juiciest rumors around the league happens to involve the Detroit Red Wings.
It may not be the most significant trade rumor we will hear this offseason, but it’s certainly one that will garner the attention of all Red Wings fans. Tyler Bertuzzi to the Toronto Maple Leafs is starting to gain steam, and let me tell you; it’s something I’m not too excited about.
As our friends over at Octopus Thrower recently mentioned, Sportsnet‘s insider Elliotte Friedman reported the Leafs had shown interest in Bertuzzi last season. Still, nothing materialized due to a season-ending back injury he suffered after appearing in just nine games.
I understand that the Detroit Red Wings are rebuilding, and general manager Steve Yzerman is making a conscious effort to add as much future draft capital over the next few seasons as possible, but Bertuzzi seems like a building block you’d want to keep around.
More from Detroit Jock City
- Tigers Sign Manager A.J. Hinch to Long-Term Extension
- Lions vs. Bears Week 14 Opening Odds Disrespect Detroit
- Former Tigers Celebrate Jim Leyland Hall of Fame Call
- This Pistons Team Could be the Worst in Detroit Sports History
- 4 Free Agents Tigers Should Sign During Winter Meetings
Bertuzzi is just 26-years old and a pending RFA this offseason who earned a very manageable $3.5 million last season. Entering what would eventually be an injury-plagued 2020-21 campaign, Bertuzzi had provided the Detroit Red Wings with back-to-back 21 goal seasons.
What type of return should the Detroit Red Wings expect from Toronto if they choose to trade Tyler Bertuzzi?
Our friends over at Editor in Leaf suggest adding Bertuzzi would be beneficial at the right price. That price not including Nick Robertson or Rasmus Sandin. Well, I understand Toronto won’t be willing to trade Robertson, but Detroit won’t be willing to give Bertuzzi away.
In my mind, Sandin will need to be available for this deal to work.
Why else would Yzerman be willing to give up a player with Bertuzzi’s overall potential? He’s under team control for another season and at what will be considered a reasonable price. The Detroit Red Wings also have an estimated $48 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly, entering the offseason, so the organization won’t feel the need to move any player due to financial constraints.
Yzerman landed a glorious return just a few months ago for Anthony Mantha and will expect a similar return for Bertuzzi. Washington sent Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik along with a first-round pick in 2021 and a second-round choice in 2022 to Detroit for Mantha.
I recognize why the Toronto Maple Leafs have an interest.
The Leafs will be without forward Zach Hyman, who is set to hit the open market, and Hyman, similar to Bertuzzi, is a back-to-back 21 goal scorer. Both forwards have the ability to skate anywhere from the first line to the third, which is an absolute luxury for any head coach.
Hyman will command more money than Toronto will be able to offer. Bertuzzi is likely to sign a one-year deal that will take him through his final year of RFA eligibility. The young forward will be chomping at the bit to prove he’s healthy as he hopes to cash in as a UFA the following summer. The Leafs will be looking to replace Hyman’s overall production and work ethic with a cheaper option.
This rumor is ironic because I see Zach Hyman being a perfect fit for the Detroit Red Wings while keeping Bertuzzi on the roster. The former Michigan Wolverine plays a similar style to Bertuzzi and seems like the perfect character guy Yzerman has cherished in the past, whether it’s Adam Erne, Tyler Johnson, or Alex Killorn.
Additional big-name players expected to be on the trade market this summer are Jack Eichel, Vladimir Tarasenko, Seth Jones, and Johnny Gaudreau. Buckle up, hockey fans; it seems like it’s going to be an interesting offseason.