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Maple Leafs Likely to Part Ways with Either Domi or Bertuzzi

The Toronto Maple Leafs will juggle a tight salary cap situation next season. That means Domi and Bertuzzi extensions are a long shot.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, like most NHL teams, will have to juggle a tight salary cap situation next season. In doing so, the franchise will need to make some tough decisions. Among them, is whether to keep Max Domi or Tyler Bertuzzi, potentially losing both to free agency as the forward seeks more security and a better payday.

The Maple Leafs are facing the likelihood that Bertuzzi and Domi wind up being too expensive for the team to sign extensions with. According to insights shared by TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger on First Up, their respective asks may exceed what the Leafs can afford, especially as contracts for William Nylander and Auston Matthews kick in.

Despite Max Domi’s recent standout performance and mutual interest from both sides to get a deal done, contract extension talks are complicated. Similarly, Tyler Bertuzzi’s need to hit a home run as a free agent only makes the optics of an extension in Toronto a long shot. Dreger emphasized that if both players were to sign, it would come at the expense of other areas of the team.

Are Either Bertuzzi or Domi Worth the Gamble?

The inconsistency in Domi and Bertuzzi’s performances throughout the season further complicates matters. While both players are currently excelling, doubts linger about their ability to maintain this level of production consistently. Given the players’ age and up-and-down levels of production, investing in either or both comes with risks. “These guys are at an age where the money matters, the term matters,” said Dreger. As such, he hinted that team-friendly deals may be unrealistic.

Tyler Bertuzzi Max Domi Maple Leafs extensions

He said it’s going to take a lot more to get either to avoid testing the market. This summer may be the one chance both have to capitalize on an increase in the NHL salary cap. And, because the Leafs have money committed elsewhere, if Domi and Bertuzzi want their cheddar, they’ll have to seek it elsewhere.

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