Detroit Red Wings: Tyler Bertuzzi finishes year strong with future in doubt

(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings 2021-22 season has officially drawn to a close. Finishing strong, forward Tyler Bertuzzi was able to leave it all out there on the ice. With a little bit of doubt about what the future holds for the 27-year-old was able to make the most of it.

After missing 14 games of the 2021-22 season, partially due to his unvaccinated status and inability to play in Canada, Bertuzzi was able to put a bow on things. He did this by being a strong source of scoring for the Detroit Red Wings and contributing to their offense.

Though he is under contract through the 2022-23 season, with a $4.75 million cap hit, there is some uncertainty about what will happen. It was noted by General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman that there is a priority to locking down the Red Wings winger, but I would not be 100% certain.

With Yzerman running the show, there is always a chance that Bertuzzi gets moved this season and ends up in a new home. If the right deal comes along, Yzerman will surely pull the trigger and opt to move on from Bertuzzi.

Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi finishes 2021-22 season strong.

In his six-year NHL career, the Detroit Red Wings have gotten a lot out of Bertuzzi. There’s been bumps and bruises along the way, but he’s been one of the team’s players who has shined, even through a rebuild.

Even while only playing in 68 games for the Red Wings in 2021-22, he still found a way to get the job done. He would finish with a second-best 30 goals on the season, paired with 32 assists for 62 total points. It’s a career-best for Bertuzzi and undoubtedly a positive for him.

Being one of the team’s central points of leadership and skill, Bertuzzi has made the most of the rebuild and tried to continue to excel and be great. He certainly has been a quality contributor to the Red Wings organization, and it would be hard to see him go.

Though hockey is a business, sometimes the tough decisions have to be made. Fans know it, Bertuzzi knows it, and Yzerman knows it. This is where that “future in doubt” part comes into play. Approaching the wrong side of 30 years old with trade interest going to likely peak in 2022-23, there will likely be some serious discussion about Bertuzzi’s future with the Red Wings.

The way I see it, it will go one of two ways. He will be locked up well before the 2022-23 season happens on a four-year contract with an AAV that benefits both parties. On the other hand, I could see him starting the season without a contract, and it becomes pretty clear to the fanbase that Yzerman will shop Bertuzzi on the trade market.

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But, with all of that being said. It’s hard to look past his career-best performance in 2021-22 and not tip the cap to Bertuzzi for putting together an impeccable performance.