Prepare for two more years of spin-o-rama's folks.
Todd Bertuzzi has ended his mini-holdout and signed a two year, $3.875 million deal to stay with the Red Wings. Bertuzzi's agent had been keeping the Wings at bay the past few weeks, and it looked like Bertuzzi might test the free agent market that opens July 1. But in the end, he decided to stay in Detroit, where he'll spend a second straight season with the same team for the first time since 2003-04 and 2005-06, his last two seasons in Vancouver.
"It’s just a really good fit for me," the forward said. "My kids were so pumped when they found out we’re going back for two more years -- now my son gets to stay in his hockey program, and they get to go back to the same schools."
"Playing with guys like Pavel Datsyuk and (Henrik Zetterberg) was great, but so was just being able to fit into the system," Bertuzzi said. "It’s just a great group of guys to be around."
Bertuzzi's deal puts Detroit's payroll next year at $54.192 million for 18 players---just about $5 million under the expected $58.8 million cap. Capgeek.com lists his cap hit at $1.937 million for both years, a raise of $400,00 from his contract last season. Because Bertuzzi is over 35, his contract will count against the cap regardless of whether he retires or not.
Honestly, the deal is a little disappointing because it just doesn't seem like Bertuzzi did enough to get a raise. Sure he scored 18 goals, but he went long stretches without producing and didn't do so until he played with one of the top units. Still, I can live with the deal because there is still plenty of cap space to re-sign guys like Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves. Here's hoping Big Bert earns every penny.