The next arbitration hearing is scheduled for Sunday between the Detroit Red Wings and scrappy young forward Tyler Bertuzzi. Today the two sides filed arbitration figures, with Elliotte Friedman reporting that Bertuzzi came in at $4.25MM while the team is looking for a $3.15MM contract.
It is important to remember that in the NHL, the arbitrator does not need to choose one filing or the other and usually instead awards a contract somewhere in the middle. The two sides can also come to an agreement in the coming days, though this year once the hearing begins they must wait for the reward and cannot settle while the arbitrator deliberates.
In this case, the player’s ask is not above the $4,538,938 “walk away” threshold, meaning that the Red Wings will have to sign Bertuzzi to whatever the arbitrator awards should the hearing begin.
The 25-year-old has been one of the team’s best players since arriving in the NHL full-time in 2017-18. With consecutive 21-goal seasons under his belt, his arbitration case is strong from a purely statistical standpoint. Bertuzzi also brings a lot of the most sought after hockey intangibles, with his ability to get under opponents skin and instigate physical play while taking relatively low penalty totals.
In 2019-20 he actually led the team in goals, finishing only five points behind Dylan Larkin in total points. Though the Red Wings are working on a rebuild that will revolve around several new faces, Bertuzzi is currently one of the most important players on the team.