It had been rumoured to be nearing completion on Wednesday and on Thursday, the rumours came to fruition, as the Detroit Red Wings and veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi agreed on a new 2-year contract extension, reportedly worth $4.15 million. This deal will be a $2.075 million cap hit, which is guaranteed to hit the team over the duration of the contract, since it is a contract signed with a player over the age of 35.
Bertuzzi has seen a decent rebound to his career with the Red Wings, bringing his size and hands to a team that has players that are much the same and are employed in ways that are very beneficial to both the player and team. In the 2012 season so far, Bertuzzi has 12 goals and 17 assists in 54 games, helping the team to the top of the NHL standings once again. Going into Thursday's action, Bertuzzi ranks 194th in pool scoring, which is a pretty good year, especially for a support player.
The Red Wings make every effort to spend as much money as they need to be a contender, but that hasn't stopped the management team from being shrewd with their money, keeping the team flexible at the same time. With Bertuzzi signed on for the 2013 season, I have the Red Wings with 14 players signed (nine forwards, three defensemen and a goaltending tandem) for a projected annual total of $37 million, which is still well-below the 2012 salary cap floor. This number includes players like Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard, so you know they are in great shape for next season.