The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Try to Acquire Tyler Bertuzzi
May 05, 2023
Tyler Bertuzzi #59 of the Boston Bruins looks for a pass in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers in Game Six of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the FLA Live Arena on April 28, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs face an interesting offseason this summer and many questions surround the team, mainly their forward group.
Many Toronto Maple Leafs forwards are about to enter free agency, such as Michael Bunting and Ryan O’Reilly, and may not return to the team. Also, more questions surround the Leafs "core four," as many fans and analysts want one of them gone to shake up the roster.
I believe the Leafs should keep their core four together, however, and I know the right player to help round out the top-6.
Enter Tyler Bertuzzi.
The former Detroit Red Wing is a pending UFA and brings a lot of the attributes the Leafs were lacking in the playoffs this year. I believe Bertuzzi is the forward Toronto has been long searching to find.
Here's why the Leafs should pursue him in free agency.
The Leafs infamously failed to score more than 2 goals in the final 7 consecutive games of their playoff run this year, and Bertuzzi will help fix that. In the 2023 playoffs, Bertuzzi scored 5 goals and 10 points in just 7 games. Not bad at all for his first playoff appearance.
Is it a small sample size? Sure, but those totals would’ve ranked him tied for first on the Leafs in playoff goals and tied for fourth in points. Very impressive considering he only played 7 games compared to the Leafs ‘ 11 games.
Don't get me wrong, I love the edge Noel Acciari brings to the Leafs, and I believe he is a super valuable member of the bottom six. That's the thing, though, Acciari is a very strong bottom-sixer. The Leafs need some edge at the top of their lineup and Bertuzzi brings tons of that.
He can also fight, and he's quite good at it. Who wouldn't want that on their team?
Not since 2017-18 have the Leafs had a player out of the core four score more than 25 goals in a season. Bertuzzi is a former 30-goal scorer with the Red Wings, imagine how many he could score playing on a line with Mitch Marner and/or William Nylander.
In conclusion, Tyler Bertuzzi is the perfect fit and exactly the player the Leafs are looking for. He can score, fight, and would be an instant fan-favorite.
Bertuzzi has earned himself at least a $5 million AAV on his next contract, and while the Leafs don't have the most cap space at the moment, they could be looking to move one or both of Matt Murray and T.J. Brodie to make some cap room.
Nonetheless, if the Leafs want to add a big-name player with an immediate impact, Bertuzzi is the guy.
It’ll be exciting to see who the Leafs add on July 1st, and maybe we’ll see Bertuzzi in the blue and white.