Leafs GM Makes a Remarkable Statement Regarding Bertuzzi and Domi Acquisitions

Elliot Ben Jacob
July 4, 2023  (12:30)

The Leafs' Active Free Agency.

In the wake of some key players departing the team on the first day of free agency, many critics were quick to question the perceived inaction of Leafs GM Brad Treliving.
However, the reality was quite different as Treliving had been actively and covertly negotiating deals with Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi.
The efforts bore fruit when Bertuzzi agreed to a 1-year, $5.5M contract and Domi penned a 1-year deal worth $3M.

Treliving's Take on New Recruits

Following these acquisitions, Treliving presented his insights to the media on the fresh additions to the Leafs and the value they offer. His view on the contributions of Bertuzzi and Domi was encapsulated in a memorable quote,
We need a little bit more snot to our game and I think they both bring a lot of that.
- Treliving reflecting on the essence of adding Bertuzzi and Domi to the roster.
With these new recruits, the Leafs can anticipate a boost in their aggression on the ice, be it referred to as snot, snarl, teeth, or jam. Bertuzzi and Domi are known for their defiance, disruption, and their proclivity to cause chaos.
While their offensive skills are a major asset, it's the "snot" factor that Treliving believes has been missing in the Leafs. Fans had a preview of this with Michael Bunting, but Bertuzzi and Domi are expected to elevate it further.

The Drive to Dominate the Blue Paint

Another aspect that Treliving wanted to bolster was the team's aggressive front-net play. The Leafs have skillful players who can handle the blue paint, yet they lacked a player who can truly irritate opponents and excel in difficult areas.
One of the things we were cognizant about was trying to replace some offense that left. But there's also some specific skillsets we're trying to address here... There are goals with Tyler. They're middle-ice goals. He gets to the middle of the ice, he gets to the blue paint. I think he's a good compliment to a lot of our players here.
- Treliving elucidating Bertuzzi's strengths and his role in the team.

Embracing the Legacy, and More

Treliving also highlighted Domi's keenness to join the Leafs and the history he brings with him. It's no secret that Max's father, Tie Domi, was a Leafs' stalwart.
However, Treliving emphasized that Max wasn't a "legacy signing" and his unique game style was the key attraction.

Proving Grounds for Bertuzzi and Domi

Similar to Ilya Samsonov the previous year, both players have entered into contracts where they're expected to deliver, with high hopes of lucrative deals in the forthcoming off-season, following a projected significant cap increase.
The hope is that they blend well with the Leafs' locker room culture and coach Sheldon Keefe's systems, possibly leading to extended contracts after January 1st.