We have something that could be considered a bit of bad news to report.
According to a report from National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman, it would appear that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Tyler Bertuzzi and the Red Wings organization have failed to come to terms on a new deal. The restricted free agent was in the process of negotiating a new deal with general manager Steve Yzerman ahead of an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, Sunday October 25th, but Friedman reports that no such agreement was reached prior to the deadline.
Previously both player and team would have been allowed to continue negotiations even after the arbitration hearing had gotten underway, but under the NHL's new rules no such agreement may be reached once the arbitration process has started. This means that no matter what Bertuzzi or the Red Wings desire at this point, the decision will be left almost entirely in the hands of the arbitrator. Given that Bertuzzi himself elected for arbitration this time around, the Red Wings will have the option of choosing whether or not this will be a 1 year contract or a 2 year contract. Given that Bertuzzi will still be a restricted free agent after 1 year, but an unrestricted free agent after 2 years, it is almost a forgone conclusion that the Red Wings will take the 1 year deal here.
The reason I suggest that this could be bad news for the Red Wings organization comes from the fact that these arbitration hearings have been known to fracture the relationship between a player and his team in the past. One of the most infamous examples came in 2014 when then Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban went into arbitration with the Habs, a process that many believe irrevocably damaged the relationship between Subban and Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, and it's not hard to see how that could happen.
In arbitration a team is essentially encouraged to expose all ofa players flaws and shortcomings in order to bring the arbitrators number down as low as possible, while on the other side of the coin a player is forced to make the opposite case in order to get the best ruling possible. Having your own team disparage you in front of what is essentially a stranger can be a difficult process for many young men, although no doubt a general manager as experienced as Yzerman has some good ideas on how to conduct himself during this process.
Stay tuned for more updates.