Maple Leafs Rumors: Team Looking To Extend Key UFA Forward

The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting ever closer to naming their new head coach, and once that's done, roster issues will be addressed quickly thereafter. 

Insider David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period has been told that the Leafs are interested in bringing back unrestricted free agent Tyler Bertuzzi. They had signed him last summer on a one-off, $5.5 million deal, but of course, this time around the 29-year-old veteran is going to be looking for term. 

Bertuzzi got off to a slow start with his new club this past season, but picked it up in the second half, and finished with 21 goals and 43 points along with a +2 rating in 16 minutes per night through 80 games. He also added some grit and energy, and finished out extremely strong, adding four points in the Buds' seven-game opening-round playoff defeat. 

Pagnotta reports that "the Leafs have relayed the message to Bertuzzi that they want to discuss what a new contract will look like and the feeling is mutual".

"That's definitely something I'm open to," Bertuzzi said. "Coming into a new place, especially Toronto, it's not easy. It took me a little bit on the ice to get going. But off the ice, the guys were great. Everything was top notch. Me and my family really enjoyed our time here."

Speculation is that the team would also like to discuss re-signing Max Domi, but there is no confirmation of that as of yet.

Pagnotta reports that the Leafs will have $19.4 million available in cap space for the 2024–25 season, so undoubtedly, some of that is going to go towards resigning their own UFAs. Others who will need to be addressed include Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson, both UFAs. Those of the RFA variety who are candidates to be re-signed include Timothy Liljegren, Nick Robertson and Connor Dewar. 

Photo: © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports