Red Wings’ Bertuzzi does not appear to be on market

On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discuss why the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired forward Ryan O'Reilly, the expected quiet trade deadline for the Montreal Canadiens, and more.

Contending teams dreaming of adding a scoring winger with some bite to his game may be receiving bad news from the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s easy to see why anyone would be interested in adding Tyler Bertuzzi to their lineup, but the surging Red Wings may simply have no interest in trading the 27-year-old free-agent-to-be. Detroit has won five straight heading into its Saturday-night tilt with the Seattle Kraken, giving its playoff chances a huge shot in the arm.

“That has led to the belief, at least for the time being, that Tyler Bertuzzi is not available and the Red Wings will keep him as long as they make their run to the playoffs through the trade deadline,” said Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman during the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Things could always change, but that looks like where it stands.”

Not long before the all-star break, Detroit seemed destined to spiral toward a seventh straight season out of the playoffs, leading many to believe GM Steve Yzerman may part with Bertuzzi. However, as Freidman pointed out, based on points percentage the Wings are a playoff team right now thanks to an 8-3-0 mark in their past 11 outings. Bertuzzi has been one of the players driving the success of late, registering six points in his past six contests while skating on the top line.

While there would obviously be some logic in trading a pending-UFA ahead of the deadline, it’s worth remembering the Wings went out and signed a handful of veterans this past off-season, signaling they were hoping to do something besides pray for good lottery luck in 2023. Given how long it’s been since the club made the post-season — Bertuzzi, a career Red Wing, has never played an NHL playoff game — it’s not hard to understand why Yzerman would be inclined to stick with what he’s got and see where it takes his club.

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