Toronto Maple Leafs: Re-Signing Tyler Bertuzzi & Max Domi Is a Terrible Idea

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages
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Every time I go online, I read a report that says the Toronto Maple Leafs should re-sign Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, and I just don't get it.

What is so special about Bertuzzi and Domi and why should the Toronto Maple Leafs spend close to $10M of their salary cap on these two players?

When the Leafs signed both of them last year, it was a worthwhile attempt because both of them were on one-year "prove-it" deals. Instead of signing long-term deals as UFA's, they took a chance on Toronto and hoped they'd cash in this summer.

What did the 2023-24 season show the Leafs that makes either player deserving of a long-term extension? For the majority of the first-half of the season, Bertuzzi couldn't score. He went two months without a goal before finally catching fire near the end of the campaign. However, when the playoffs started, he dissapeared again. Playing in the top-six, he generated one goal and didn't help this team advance in the playoffs.

As for Domi, I'd actually be inclined to sign him, but at the right price. Domi showed that he's a good playmaker and someone who can help create offense, but he couldn't score. He was snakebitten all season and only finished with nine goals. However, based on his ability to play centre and that playmaking skill, I could see a return to Toronto, but only if he's making the same amount of money ($3M AAV).

Toronto Maple Leafs Should Not Re-Sign Both Bertuzzi and Domi

If he's on a long-term deal, it's a waste of money, but on another one or two-year deal at $3M, I can see a return, but they shouldn't sign both.

The Leafs are a strong offensive team and instead of re-signing Bertuzzi, should use that money to promote within. Whether it's Nick Robertson, Easton Cowan or Fraser Minten, one of those three players should be good enough to replace Bertuzzi in the top-six. From there, that $5M saved from Bertuzzi should be focused on either goaltending, defense or a difference-maker offensively.

If the Leafs are seriously considering trading Mitch Marner, it means that they can afford to throw the bag at one of either Jonathan Marchessault, Sam Reinhart, Steven Stamkos or Jake Guentzel. Instead of investing in potentially 25 goals from Bertuzzi at $5-6M, wouldn't you rather spend $8-10M on one of those four players I just mentioned?

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Bertuzzi is not going to be a difference-maker in the playoffs, but one of those four players can. They've all proven it in the playoffs before and are all Stanley Cup Finals performers, so re-signing Bertuzzi is just a waste of time.