Red Wings make one-year offer to Todd Bertuzzi

According to Greg Brady's Twitter account (hat tip to Kukla's Korner), the Detroit Red Wings have offered former Wing Todd Bertuzzi a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.

DRW has put a tasty 1-yr/1.5m offer up for Todd Bertuzzi. Since no one else is beating down his door, take it, Bert! Cheap real estate!

Who is Brady? He is the co-host of the Bill Watters Show on AM640 (4-7pm) and frequent host of Leafs Lunch (12-1pm), also appearances on Fighting Talk (BBC Five Live). Before you say well it's just one person saying this, the Bertuzzi-to-Detroit rumor has been floating around for awhile now. Jimmy Devellano speculated last week that the Wings were close to signing Big Bert. Snapshots has the transcript of the Fan 590 interview with Jimmy D.

Thirty minutes ago, the Grand Rapids Press reported that GM Ken Holland confirmed he was negotiating with Bertuzzi.

"We're talking to him," Holland said.

Holland declined further comment, but a league source said the club offered Bertuzzi a one-year deal worth $1.5 million for next season, and that there is a strong indication that a deal will get done this week.

It's safe to say that the Wings' blogosphere won't be too happy with this signing if this report is true.

We'll have more on this tomorrow as the story develops.

Update [2 p.m. -- August 18]

Pierre LeBrun of reports that the Bertuzzi deal is good to go pending a physical.

The one-year deal is "worth around $1.5 million," a source said.

TSN confirms the report.

IwoCPO at Abel to Yzerman has his thoughts on the signing. I don't have time to type anything more thorough than this, but I'll come back later with some thoughts.

Update #2 [11 p.m. -- August 18]

I will freely admit that I was kind of excited when the Wings traded for Big Bert back in 2007. I distinctly remember hearing the announcement on XM Radio as I drove to Chicago with my dad to attend a Wings' road game. Unfortunately, the experiment didn't really pan out and Bertuzzi left for more money in Anaheim.

This off-season has certainly not been the ideal scenario for Wings' fans. I don't think any of us expected all four players (Hossa, Samuelsson, Kopecky, and Hudler) to leave, but that's the way the cookie crumbled. If I didn't trust Holland as much as I do, I'd be pretty concerned about this upcoming summer because we haven't fully addressed the loss of so many points. However if we had re-signed Hossa and Huds, we still wouldn't have regained all the points lost by Samuelsson and Kopecky's absence so that's something that I think I needed to be reminded of. Holland has been ranked one of the top GMs in hockey for years now and he signed Bertuzzi because he believes the forward can bring something to the team.

The key to this signing is if Big Bert can remain healthy. If he does, this deal will be a nice Band-Aid to get the Wings through this season before there's a little more room and flexibility under the cap due to some expiring contracts. Bertuzzi provides the team with some much-needed grit (and even nastiness to the dismay of some) and will at least offset Hudler's offensive output. The right winger had 15 goals and 29 assists over 66 games played. I would expect to see his numbers rise (as they usually do when a player joins the Wings) should Bertuzzi remain healthy. If he catches the injury bug, we'll probably see more of Justin Abdelkader in Detroit than anyone expected and that's when the signing won't look so hot.

The other key thing to note about this signing is that it indicates Andreas Lilja will, in fact, be placed on the long-term injured reserved list. Removing his salary cap hit of $1.25 in addition to the approximately $500,000 extra the Wings still had under the cap provides Detroit with just enough room for Big Bert under the salary cap maximum limit. Lilja has told reporters this summer that he still suffers from headaches. Lilja cannot return to play until the headaches are gone. If Lilja is able to return this year, Holland will then have to trade away one of the eight defensemen to get the Wings under the cap and make room for Lilja on the roster.

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