No hard feelings for Bertuzzi after $3.5 million arbitration award
Tyler Bertuzzi: “Even if I sign a six-year deal, I’ll play every game like I’m on a one-year deal and just need to prove every year that I’m a good player."
Tyler Bertuzzi got a $2 million raise for next season.
An arbitrator determined that Bertuzzi, 25, will make $3.5 million in 2020-21, compared to the $1.4 million he earned in 2019-20.
The Red Wings had offered him $3.15 million while Bertuzzi and his agent were asking for $4.25 million. The arbitrator, who heard the case on Oct. 25, was free to pick either number or any amount in between.
The case went to arbitration when the two sides could not reach a deal.
The process can be contentious between the two sides, which is why Detroit usually tries to avoid going to an arbitration hearing.
This was the Red Wings' first contract settled through arbitration in quite a long time. Their only recent hearing was with Tomas Tatar in 2017, but the sides reached an agreement before a decision was rendered.
But Bertuzzi says there are no hard feelings.
“Obviously, it’s a little different than anything I’ve ever been through,” he said on Wednesday. “But it went smoothly and we’re happy that we got a deal done and I’m happy to be back.”
Bertuzzi added: “We want to win hockey games,” he said. “There’s nothing personal at all.”
Bertuzzi, a forward, had a team-leading 21 goals last season, matching his career high of the previous campaign, and 48 points, which was the most of his career and one more than he had in 2018-19.
He was a restricted free agent and will be once again at the end of the new season when he hopes to sign a long-term deal.
“Whether I sign five, four, six years, every year you need to perform and you need to work hard and contribute,” Bertuzzi said. “Even if I sign a six-year deal, I’ll play every game like I’m on a one-year deal and just need to prove every year that I’m a good player and I want to contribute for this team.”
For his career, Bertuzzi has 49 goals and 70 assists for 119 points in 199 games during two full seasons and parts of two others. The Red Wings drafted him in the second round (58th overall pick) of the 2013 NHL draft.
He is the nephew of former NHL star and Detroit standout Todd Bertuzzi.
The Red Wings have two other restricted free agents to sign: Anthony Mantha and Dmytro Timashov. Mantha did not file for arbitration while Timashov was not eligible.