The Detroit Red Wings are focused on who will be the team’s next head coach and prepping for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, but there is plenty more to be done before the season. While an extension for captain Dylan Larkin should be the priority, they cannot forget about winger Tyler Bertuzzi.
He’s in the same spot as Larkin, with 2022-23 being the last season on his current contract with the Detroit Red Wings. There have been rumors of Bertuzzi getting shipped off to a new squad and rumors of him getting locked down to an extension, but something has to give.
There’s less of a rush to get a contract extension done with him than there is Larkin. General Manager Steve Yzerman is going to feel it out. If the Red Wings can move Bertuzzi and recoup pieces that help this rebuild in return, he will pursue the deal. On the other hand, Bertuzzi has been one of the team’s top performers in recent years.
It’s a hard decision to make, and Yzerman will have to weigh the options as time goes on. Time is still on his side, and he can mull over the decision into the season, which is more than likely, especially with the possibility of him being dealt in a trade deadline deal being there from the get-go.
Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi’s future is uncertain.
Bertuzzi is coming off the 2020-21 season, where he finished second on the team in both goals and points. He played 68 games, collecting 30 goals and tallying 32 assists for 62 total points. Bertuzzi has been a contributor and focal point of the offense, so the interest from other teams will likely be there.
Especially if the Red Wings start to falter. If the Red Wings take a page out of the Detroit Tigers’ book and decide to underperform severely, Yzerman will make changes, and moving Bertuzzi is one of the things that could be done. He’s not afraid to shake things up and has made that clear.
There’s still the chance that Bertuzzi gets an extension, but getting that done before the team hits the ice this fall is extremely unlikely. Even if Bertuzzi is viewed as a piece of the long-term plans, I’d expect Yzerman to sit on the deal and work something out with Larkin (or try to) first and foremost.
As the season creeps closer, though, the Red Wings will not be quick to pull the trigger on a trade or a new contract for Bertuzzi. Sitting on this decision is likely the best option, especially with many variables that could play into this decision.
Either way, things will work out. Keeping around Bertuzzi is not the worst thing in the world. He’s going to produce and be a top performer in the Red Wings’ offense if he sticks around. If the Red Wings do opt to move him, Yzerman’s trades have worked out pretty well, so I like the odds there too.
The Red Wings will be just fine; the question is whether Bertuzzi will be a part of the team’s future plans. That’s something for Yzerman to decide. It’ll take some time before things move on that front, but the two options are pretty straightforward.