Bertuzzi and Teravainen will turn the Blackhawks biggest weaknesses into strengths

The Chicago Blackhawks started off NHL free agency with a huge signing, bringing Tyler Bertuzzi to the Windy City.
Chicago Blackhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Blackhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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If you’re a Chicago Blackhawks fan, you couldn’t be happier at the moment, as the team kicked off free agency by inking Tyler Bertuzzi to a four-year deal. This is huge because the Blackhawks needed someone to help supplement their scoring this season as it was clear first-overall pick Connor Bedard wasn’t going to be a game-changer without help - nor was that to be expected. 

But the 2024 recipient of the Calder Trophy showed us he can be an effective player despite the little help he was getting for his rookie season. The result was 22 goals and 61 points through 68 games, priming him for a true breakout season in Year 2. 

And this is where Bertuzzi comes in, as the journeyman (we can call him that now, right?) has proven he can be a force in the offensive zone. In 2021-22, we saw it with the Detroit Red Wings when he knocked down a 62-point season, and we saw it again during the back half of 2022-23 when he put up 16 points in 21 contests after the Wings traded him to the Boston Bruins. 

Tyler Bertuzzi gives the Blackhawks loads of help all over the ice

Tyler Bertuzzi was solid throughout his lone season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, racking up another 43 points in 80 appearances while averaging 16-plus minutes of total ice time. Since the 2018-19 season, Bertuzzi has averaged between 16 and 19 minutes per game, meaning we may very likely see him playing directly alongside Bedard this season on Chicago’s first line, or at least on the top-six. 

Bertuzzi is also a hitter, and someone who will add quite the physical edge to the Blackhawks, something that will be needed as the team continues to grow. He’s also good at stealing the puck - 105 takeaways over the past three seasons, and best yet, Bertuzzi also helped make the best out of what was a ticky-tacky situation over in Toronto on the defensive side of the ice. 

Overall, this was an excellent signing from Kyle Davidson, and I expect to see more just like it as NHL free agency continues.