The Detroit Red Wings could use some help from a familiar face.

With Tyler Bertuzzi on the free agent market, the Detroit Red Wings need to consider bringing him back.
Tyler Bertuzzi (59)
Tyler Bertuzzi (59) / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

I still remember when I first heard the news, scanning social media and seeing that Tyler Bertuzzi had been traded to the Boston Bruins. It was a gut punch after watching the Red Wings go on a losing streak that pushed General Manager Steve Yzerman to sell at the trade deadline. Bertuzzi was and still is my wife's favorite player. She was devastated. It was hard to see him go, then pictures and videos started to appear with him in a Bruins jersey playing with his new team.

Some relief for me came in the fact that he wasn't traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins or some other teams that I can't stand. At the very least, he was traded to the team with the most wins ever in a regular season and had a good shot at the Stanley Cup. Bertuzzi was playing on the top six and racking up the points. The wheels fell off, however, as the Bruins blew a 3-1 series lead to the Florida Panthers in the first round.

There was a tiny bit of hope that Bertuzzi would come back to the Wings after his time with the Boston Bruins. Maybe there was a plan with Yzerman to get the 1st round pick in the trade, then sign him back to the team, a true rental situation. It was not to be as more bad news came from a social media post that Bertuzzi had signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was confusing to me. I heard the reason it didn't work out in Detroit was that he wanted a longer term deal than what was offered to him.

This season in Toronto, Bertuzzi got off to a slow start before picking up the pace and starting to fit in as the season moved along. He was moved around in the lineup and had a decent season as the Leafs headed into another playoff run. It came as a shock to no one except Toronto fans, the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round again. Now Bertuzzi is back on the free agent market again and will be looking for his next contract.

The Detroit Red Wings need to bring Tyler Bertuzzi back this offseason.

There has been a lot of talk about who the Red Wings need to pick up and whothey need to let go this offseason. The Wings need to figure out a way to bring Bertuzzi back as they have been missing his presence in front of the net both on the power play and with full strength situations. He's not affraid to go into the tough areas around the crease and take a beating in the process. Then, he's right there to grab a juicy rebound from a shot and put the puck in the back of the net.

Also, he is good at parking in front of the goalie and taking his vision away so that a shot can slip by undetected. I don't think the Wings have had enough net front traffic without him in the lineup. There were quite a few times where they had nobody in front of the goalie on a power play and every shot was easily caught. I can't count how many times this season my wife had said "If Bertuzzi was here that would have been in the net!" as a puck was sitting by the crease and swept away by the other team.

I also love the edge that he brings to the game when he's on the ice. Bertuzzi is great at getting under the other team's skin and sometimes has success in suckering an opponent into taking a trip to the penalty box. He's not quite to the Brad Marchand level in this area, but he could definitely get there with a little work. Plus, he would be much less annoying. This is another area that the Wings could use some help next season as the team really doesn't have an strong instigator in the lineup.

Looking at Bertuzzi's stats on the NHL Edge Advanced Statistics he ended the season with 21 goals and 22 assists which is pretty good on a loaded team like the Leafs. Of the 21 goals that he scored this season 19 of them were from the crease or the closest slot area. This is statistacal proof of his ability to get things done in the net front area. I feel like Bertuzzi would play a bigger role with the Red Wings than Toronto, and he could get back to the 30 goal mark again in Detroit.

I'm sure there is interest in Bertuzzi around the league right now, so Yzerman needs to jump on this opportunity and start working to make this happen. A gritty net front guy like him will likely not be available long once free angency starts up this summer. The Red Wings could really use a guy like him and, maybe at this point, he would agree to a shorter contract term than he was asking for previously. We'll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.