The Pittsburgh Penguins have had years of success and Stanley Cups on their resume to make them one of the most successful franchises in NHL history. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin still producing offensively, the Penguins are a threat.
With the Penguins only 2 points behind the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes could one forward push them into first?
With 11 free agents (9 UFA and 2 RFA), Pittsburgh will need someone with term who can supply offense and play with grit. Enter Detroit Red Wings left-winger Tyler Bertuzzi. Aside from Jake Guentzel, the Penguins are thin on left-wing and almost no production is coming from that side.
Bertuzzi would be a nice piece for the Penguins because he gives that left side some scoring punch and does play a physical game. He would not have the pressure he has in Detroit and that may increase his production due to the pressure.
The Pittsburgh Penguins trading for Tyler Bertuzzi would make total sense.
The Penguins do not have cap space so the exchange between Pittsburgh and Detroit would have to include at least one player off of the current roster. With Bryan Rust being one of those UFA’s he could go back the other way, along with a low-round draft pick and a prospect or two.
This season the 6-foot-1 and 198-pound Bertuzzi has 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points in 50 games, along with 39 penalty minutes. The Penguins roster does not have much youth, so Bertuzzi is young enough that he could make Pittsburgh his home for another 10 years.
Bertuzzi is defensively responsible but his game is offense. He can take over a power play and deflect pucks from anywhere in the offensive zone. Bertuzzi can keep pucks alive by playing the board battle perfectly.
Bertuzzi brings sandpaper at the forward position that Pittsburgh lacks. He will fight on occasion but for the most part, agitation is also a big part of his game. Bertuzzi would fit comfortably on the first line with Crosby or the second line with Malkin, complimenting the other forwards on the line.
In his last 10 games, Bertuzzi has 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points. He has played six seasons in Detroit, totaling 258 games, 79 goals, and 96 assists for 174 points.
Pittsburgh could use someone like Bertuzzi in the worst way, but can they afford what the asking price would be? The Penguins should use this opportunity to get a forward who is a threat offensively and still in his prime.
This move could help Pittsburgh, not only in the short term but the long term as well. If you are Pittsburgh, do you go out and get Bertuzzi regardless of the price?