NHL insider reveals Leafs problem with re-signing Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi

Graham Montgomery
June 12, 2024  (6:20 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs center Max Domi addressing the media after a game
Photo credit: Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman gave us an update on the status of Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi today as the Leafs look to re-sign both players.

Both Bertuzzi and Domi joined the Leafs on one-year, prove-it style contracts last summer. Both players got off to relatively slow starts, but warmed up as the season went along, giving the team confidence in their capabilities. In fact, both players were tied with Auston Matthews for the team lead in scoring in the playoffs. As such, the Leafs are certainly interested in re-signing them. However, the team is reportedly concerned about how much term they will have to give the players on their next deals.
"I think Toronto is nervous of term."

- @FriedgeHNIC offered up the latest on pending UFAs Max Domi & Tyler Bertuzzi #LeafsForever
This has sparked a debate among Leafs fans. On one side, you have fans that are not so concerned about term. After all, the salary cap is expected to continue to increase the way it has this summer, with the days of the flat cap likely gone for good. This means that teams can afford to give players perhaps one year too many in order to secure their current contention window.
I don't think their cap hit will be so high that a 5 year contract will hurt them. Especially with the cap going up. Like why not 4mx5 for domi and 5.5mx5 for bert?
However, not all fans, and certainly not all teams will agree with this strategy. Some Leafs fans in particular are not huge fans of Bertuzzi or Domi. Furthermore, both players are already 29-years-old. Generally speaking, NHL players tend to peak around 28, so both players are already getting to the wrong side of the age curve. Should the team sign either to a five-year deal, it could start to look like a very bad move sooner than expected.
Nothing over 4 years for either player. Don't lock team into long- term issues. Neither are long- term solutions.