Finally, it happened. The Detroit Red Wings re-signed Tyler Bertuzzi to a two-year, $9.5M deal today, locking in a key piece of its core.
The deal comes an AAV of $4.75M, an uptick from the $3.5M AAV he made on his one-year deal last season. The signing will put to rest the speculation that Bertuzzi will be moved, but certainly at two years, it opens the door for Bertuzzi to test free agency if he wishes. In the same breath, it also gives general manager Steve Yzerman the option to maneuver similarly to how he did with Mantha. Less term and a very reasonable hit for a top six forward could make him a sought after target down the road.
The Red Wings Roster Continues to Take Shape
All eyes now to turn Jakub Vrana, the next big forward on Yzerman’s list who needs to be signed. Adam Erne and Filip Hronek are also owed new deals, which following those three signings, will get the Red Wings beyond the cap floor.
Bertuzzi can be penciled into the top line which presumably will be centered by captain Dylan Larkin. But it’s fair to wonder if he’ll shuttle between lines to reunite with former teammate Pius Suter, who was signed to a two-year deal of his own on Thursday.
Over the course of the last few weeks, Yzerman has been retooling to shape the roster into something that mirrors his philosophy. The trades for Nick Leddy and Alex Nedeljkovic were the opening salvo while each free agent signing he’s made has made for a bulkier, puck moving blue line and a responsible, and much younger forward unit.
While bidding farewell to stalwarts Luke Glendening, and Darren Helm, Yzerman is still walking a tightrope in terms of making the team more competitive but not too competitive in jeopardizing one last shot at a top two pick next season.