Assessing the Toronto Maple Leafs Loss of Tyler Bertuzzi in Free Agency

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Max Domi, but they let Tyler Bertuzzi walk.
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

After re-signing Max Domi to a four-year deal with an AAV of 3.75 million, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost out on Tyler Bertuzzi.

The now former Toronto Maple Leafs winger landed a four-year deal with an AAV of 5.5 million in Chicago today.

Bertuzzi played 80 games last season, scoring 21 goals and recording 22 assists for 43 points. In the playoffs, he played in all seven games scoring a goal and recording three assists for four points (All stats from

Bertuzzi got going after the All-Star break after a start where he was snake-bitten. He was a valuable asset for the team being a pest and bringing physicality while going to the dirty areas of the ice.

Where Does This Leave the Toronto Maple Leafs?

At the time I'm writing this, the Leafs haven't signed a forward yet aside from the Domi extension. They have spent 11.375 million per year on Chris Tanev, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Anthony Stolarz and Matt Murray (All salary statistics from

With holes to fill on both the right and left wing, I'm struggling to see the plan for this team. I understand leaving a role open for Easton Cowan on the roster, but there are still glaring holes.

Expiring RFA Nick Robertson has reportedly asked the Leafs for a trade which just opens up another hole on the roster if they do end up trading him. Losing Robertson is a pretty significant deal for the Leafs. With their current cap structure, you need guys to provide goal-scoring at a cheap price and Robertson can do that.

With minimal cap left to use, I think the only way we see the Leafs fill their needs up front is through trade. Having guys like Kampf, Reaves and Timmins making a combined 4.85 million dollars makes things difficult when trying to build a productive roster.

Treliving should have found a way to get rid of the Kampf contract before free agency to give this team more flexibility.

Overall, I'm not impressed with the moves so far this offseason. Domi was a good deal, Woll is a high-risk, high-reward gamble and Liljegren is an expensive deal if he can't take a step. Tanev will probably be good for two or three years, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is too expensive for too long and Stolarz hasn't played enough games for this tandem to be reliable.


I'm hoping to be proven wrong but as of right now I'm not very confident in this roster.