Maple Leafs looking to keep Tyler Bertuzzi in Toronto.
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Maple Leafs looking to keep Tyler Bertuzzi in Toronto.

Tyler Bertuzzi is a pending unrestricted free agent... but not so fast say the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jonathan Larivee

This is surely a good sign for fans in the city of Toronto that have grown fond of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bertuzzi.

Bertuzzi is a pending unrestricted free agent and in theory he will have the opportunity to maximize his value this summer on the open market, but it is starting to sound like Bertuzzi may never get there.

The latest on the Bertuzzi front comes courtesy of The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta, with the NHL insider reporting that the Maple Leafs have begun engaging in contract talks with Bertuzzi and his representatives. Pagnotta reports that the talks are still at such an early stage that it is too early to tell which way they will go, but that the two sides are talking at all has to be viewed as a positive by those who would like Bertuzzi to remain a Maple Leaf.

It could very well be that the forward himself would prefer some kind of long term security at this stage of his career as well, with Bertuzzi only managing to secure a 1 year deal as a free agent last summer. It may very well be that Bertuzzi himself would welcome such an offer after the rollercoaster that was free agency for him last summer.

Bertuzzi was a solid contributor to the Maple Leafs offense this past season with 21 goals and 22 assists for a total of 43 points over his 80 regular season games. He continued that trend in the playoffs with a strong showing, scoring a single goal and adding 3 assists for a total of 4 points in the Leafs only 7 game series.