Five key players that Yzerman could trade at the deadline

Steve Yzerman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Steve Yzerman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Bertuzzi

For the past four seasons, Tyler Bertuzzi has been the an important piece of the Red Wings top line.  When Bertuzzi was hot, the Red Wings won.  When he was out of the lineup or had a bad night, they lost.

This year, Bertuzzi has been terrific playing on line with Dylan Larkin, and more recently, Pius Suter.  He has been one of the top Detroit forwards throughout most of the season.

Currently, the biggest issue that the Red Wings have with Bertuzzi is his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  He is unable to travel to games in Canada.  Before Christmas, Bertuzzi missed three games in his home country.  Moving forward, Bertuzzi will miss an additional six games in Canada before the end of the season.

Why a trade makes sense: Bertuzzi has one year remaining on his current contract with a cap hit of $4.75M annually.  Bertuzzi will be an UFA at the end of 2023, meaning that he can leave Detroit and the Red Wings will not receive any compensation.

Bertuzzi is a hot commodity with his tenacious play and scoring ability.  Teams will likely be willing to send Detroit a nice package to acquire the feisty forward.

The Red Wings have missed Bertuzzi for a number of Canadian games this year, and General Manager Steve Yzerman might make the move to avoid losing one of his top players for an extended period of time.

Similar to Larkin, if Yzerman can’t extend Bertuzzi before the 2023 trade deadline, I am sure that he will be moved to a playoff contender.

Why a trade doesn’t make sense: Bertuzzi is an important member of the Red Wings.  He is liked by his teammates and is adored by the Red Wings faithful.  There is no rush to trade Bertuzzi because he is under contract for one more year.  Bertuzzi helps make Detroit a more difficult team to play against.  He plays on either the #1A or #1B lines and plays an important role on the PP.