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Todd Bertuzzi on his way out of Detroit?

Image (1) Bertuzzi-thumb-200x300-13508.jpg for post 2074

Chris McCosky of The Detroit News has an interesting column up about the Detroit Red Wings and their attempt to re-sign Todd Bertuzzi. It seems that while it might have been thought Bertuzzi would be easy to sign -- perhaps for a bit of a paycut -- it turns out that it appears Bertuzzi is preparing to test the free agent market.

But you can’t blame Holland for holding the line, either. We’re assuming the line is $1 million, though we don’t know for sure. But if you do the math, Holland would be hard-pressed to pay Bertuzzi much more than that and still be able to sign all of the restricted free agents.

It doesn’t make sense to keep a 35-year-old Bertuzzi at the expense of Drew Miller, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader or Patrick Eaves.

Such is always the issue in the times of free agency, as teams must decide between restricted free agents and veterans who might be on their way out. Bertuzzi is certainly a valuable asset to the Red Wings, and he carried this team at times during the season. But the reality is he’s 35 years old and the Red Wings are going to have to find ways to keep their up and coming young players.

If it is true that Bertuzzi is looking for at least $1.5 million next season, then chances are he won’t be in Detroit next season. Currently the Red Wings are about $4.5 million under the cap for next season with 17 players under contract; that’s six roster spots to lock up, and giving $1.5 million of that to Bertuzzi is likely a bit too much for Ken Holland to stomach.