Detroit Red Wings Winger Tyler Bertuzzi Out 4 to 6 Weeks

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The Detroit Red Wings are 2-0 under new head coach Derek Lalonde. However, all is not well with the team as left-winger Tyler Bertuzzi will reportedly miss 4 to 6 weeks with an upper-body injury. Bertuzzi left the game against the New Jersey Devils after being hit in the hand with a puck. The Red Wings won that game by a score of 5-2 and Bertuzzi had an assist. This is a big season for Bertuzzi as the 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

This most recent injury is yet another data point in the decision to either keep Bertuzzi or trade him before he walks in free agency. Bertuzzi has had contentious contract negotiations with the Red Wings in the past. If the two sides have had discussions that indicate that Bertuzzi will return then general manager Steve Yzerman should look to trade him. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the main teams that have been linked to Bertuzzi. The Maple Leafs will need to add offense in order to advance in the playoffs.

It is still early in the NHL season but the injury to a top 6 forward is concerning. A 4-to-6-week injury timeline means that Bertuzzi will return to the Red Wings lineup in mid-November at the earliest. The team will need to lean on the number of free agents that Yzerman added during the offseason. It could be argued that these free agents were brought in to put the team over the top to earn a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Rookie Elmer Söderblom has looked good in the first two games of his NHL career.

Bertuzzi has been an important part of the Red Wings’ top line alongside Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. He scored 30 goals and added 32 assists in 68 games played last season. Both Larkin and Raymond will have to step up in the absence of Bertuzzi. New addition Dominik Kubalik skated with Larkin and Raymond at practice prior to the Red Wings’ game against the Los Angeles Kings tonight. During the offseason, Lalonde said not to read into any lineup decisions. He certainly did not envision one of his top-6 forward going down with an injury so soon after his first season started.

Kubalik will have the opportunity to prove the Chicago Blackhawks wrong in the place of Bertuzzi. The 27-year-old played in 78 games for Chicago in 2021-22. This comes in the midst of Chicago rebuilding their roster. He scored 15 goals and added 17 assists before being dealt to the Red Wings. Larkin is one of the best centers in the league and Raymond will look to build on a rookie season that saw him being a Calder Trophy candidate early in the season.

Back injuries have hampered Bertuzzi in the past. An injury flared up towards the end of the Red Wings training camp. This is concerning given that at 27-years-old He will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 NHL season. Larkin will also be an unrestricted free agent after this season. If either of these two players leaves in free agency then the “Yzerplan” will come under serious question. NHL free agency begins on July 1st.

At only two games into the 2022-23 NHL season, there is still plenty of time for the Red Wings to overcome the Bertuzzi injury. Injuries are part of the NHL and Bertuzzi is certainly one example of this. The team will need to tread water as Bertuzzi’s injury heals. The 27-year-old has proven that he is one of the most important players on the team’s roster.

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1 comment

  • TAV says:

    It certainly plays into the contract decision. Understood that injuries happen to anyone and cannot be predicted but it seems some players just end up injured more. Style of play has something to do with it but back injuries like he had can flare up in the future as well. He will want a max contract and I can’t see them doing it. His agents playing hard ball and not being cooperative again along with signing the last deal just to get to FA status leads me to think he is gone. Well see.

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