Have the Toronto Maple Leafs Gotten Better this Offseason?


Jul 4, 2023

The Toronto Maple Leafs have successfully made two strategic moves that could potentially boost their ceiling, signing Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi to one-year deals. These strategic signings are commendable, demonstrating the Maple Leafs’ keen eye for spotting promising talent without breaking the bank and going above the NHL‘s salary cap.

Bertuzzi and Domi are both young, affordable, and very skilled. They bring a lot of missing elements to this Maple Leaf’s group and are valuable additions to the team. At 28 years old, Bertuzzi is considered one of the tougher players in the game. He has yet to command big money, but his performance suggests it’s only a matter of time.

Similarly, Domi, often overshadowed by his father’s legacy, has proven he has what it takes to compete at this level. Despite his inconsistencies, his ability to play effectively is a testament to his overall skillset. These two signings enhance Toronto’s competitiveness and give them something they’ve lacked.

Toronto’s decision to let go of Michael Bunting is something that they may ultimately regret. Bunting, who previously earned around $900,000, has now signed a multi-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. However, the addition of Bertuzzi and Domi can potentially offset the loss of Bunting

What’s fascinating about Bertuzzi’s one-year deal is the potential upside it offers him. The contract, estimated to be around $5.5 million, could yield greater returns if he manages to put up impressive numbers this season, especially if he plays on a line with players as talented as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

A standout season could see Bertuzzi return to the negotiation table next summer with much more bargaining power. A multi-year contract worth several million dollars could be on the horizon if Bertuzzi capitalizes on this one-year deal. In light of this, his decision to take the one-year contract appears to be a smart move.

In conclusion, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ one-year deals with Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi highlight the team’s strategic approach to changing the makeup of this group. Despite losing Bunting, the Leafs have strengthened their lineup. Additionally, the potential for Bertuzzi to significantly increase his value through this deal further exemplifies Toronto’s management’s smart plays on and off the ice. 

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Thumbnail photo via David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

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