It Might Be Best for the Toronto Maple Leafs to Move On From Tyler Bertuzzi

With July 1st quickly coming up, the Toronto Maple Leafs have some interesting decisions to make with their pending free agents. One of these being Tyler Bertuzzi, and as much as I like him, he may be too expensive to retain.
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

Tyler Bertuzzi had a truly odd season in his first year with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The gritty winger signed a 1-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season in hopes of showing he has the capability of being a star in the NHL. Many fans (including myself) were anticipating a career year from Bertuzzi.

It's unfortunately safe to say he fell short of those lofty expectations in his first year with the Toronto Leafs. Not that he was bad by any means, but he only scored 43 points in 80 games, even with being used in a top-six role and with star playmakers such as Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

I love Tyler Bertuzzi and I hope he has success if he ends up signing elsewhere, but the Leafs are best to move on from him at this point.

It Might Be Best for the Toronto Maple Leafs to Move On From Tyler Bertuzzi

As mentioned before, Bertuzzi only scored 43 points all season, and despite a strong finish to the year, a winger making $5.5 million needs to score more.

On top of this, two of the main reasons the Leafs signed him in the first place were for his power play scoring and his strong play in the playoffs last year with the Boston Bruins. Now in his defense, the Leafs didn't use him a ton on the first power-play unit, but he only managed five power-play goals all season and just one goal total in the playoffs.

Again, Bertuzzi wasn't bad by any means, but he did fall short of expectations and it's probably best for the Leafs to move on.

Now there is always a chance Bertuzzi signs for a discount to stay in Toronto, as he's recently mentioned that he does want to play for the Leafs again.

But the question is how much of a discount is he willing to take? I would have no problem signing Bertuzzi for 3 years at $4 million, but would he take a pay cut to stay in Toronto?

In my opinion, the Leafs are much better off keeping Max Domi instead of Bertuzzi this off-season, and would be wise to use Bertuzzi's $5.5 million salary somewhere else, like on a star defenseman.

Regardless of what happens, Bertuzzi was a fun player to watch and genuinely was the right player for GM Brad Treliving to sign last summer. Unfortunately, the signing didn't work out as he hoped.


Wherever he signs next year, I wish you the best Ty. I'll always remember your birthday hat-trick vs Colorado this year.