Rangers favorites to land Bertuzzi?
League sources indicate one team to pop up on the rumor mill is the Pittsburgh Penguins who have been linked to Todd Bertuzzi.
Sources involved with the team have confirmed that there have been talks with Bertuzzi’s camp but one source characterized the Penguins interest as “lukewarm” as Pittsburgh is not interested at the price Bertuzzi is currently seeking.
The Penguins have conducted a number of internal discussions with their scouting staff about the possibility of bringing Bertuzzi into the fold.
The internal discussions have brought out a positive vibe that Bertuzzi can still be a factor in the right situation.
Character issues don’t appear to be a stumbling block. Bertuzzi is close friends with Matt Cooke and played with Chris Kunitz in Anaheim.
Both players have spoken very highly of Bertuzzi, sources tell TIOPS.
The stumbling block is the asking price. Bertuzzi has offers believed to be slightly under $1.5 million but has yet to come to his grips of settling for an offer under $1 million per season.
Pittsburgh is willing to offer a one year deal worth $600,000, which would give Bertuzzi the opportunity to jumpstart his career and possibly re-make his image.
Rangers the front runners to land Bertuzzi?
With Nikolai Zherdev becoming a free agent, many league insiders expect the Rangers to tender an offer to Bertuzzi this week. Bertuzzi has also drawn interest from the Flyers, Leafs, Bruins, Thrashers and Red Wings.
Like the Penguins, the Flyers, Red Wings and Bruins have limited cap space.