Contract-wise, now the Red Wings are waiting on ‘Moe’ Mantha

After accepting an arbitrator’s 1-year, $3.5 million contract award for Tyler Bertuzzi, the Red Wings have a CapFriendly-estimated $15.238 million in salary cap space remaining, and about a third of that space will go toward re-signing the Red Wings’ remaining restricted free agents, Anthony Mantha and Dmytro Timashov.

Sportsnet’s Luke Fox has updated his article regarding the “NHL’s Top 15 Unsigned RFA’s,” and here’s what he has to say about Mantha’s situation:

Anthony Mantha
Age: 26
Position: Left wing / Right wing
2019-20 salary cap hit: $3.3 million
Arbitration rights: Yes — but did not file
Bargaining chips: Puts up the same points per game (0.88) as [Mat] Barzal. Plays nearly 19 minutes a night. Managed 38 points in 2019-20 despite being hampered with injuries. Consecutive 24-goal, 48-point efforts in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The latest: When healthy, Mantha is a beastly winger and dependable contributor to Detroit’s top six. The drawback here is an injury history that has prevented Mantha from playing more than 70 games in all but one of his five pro years.

“It will be complicated, I think,” Mantha told The Detroit News of his upcoming negotiation with Yzerman. “But it’s not in my power. My power is to play hockey. My agent and Stevie are going to talk. Maybe they’ve started. I don’t even know.

“It’s hard to base right now. I played 40 games this year. I missed so many games, so it’s hard to go for the extension before the end of the year. We’ll see in the off-season. Hopefully it goes quick and I’ll be here for a long time.”

Continued; as Fox notes, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman told the media that he was negotiating with Mantha’s representatives during the 2020 NHL draft. Those negotiations obviously took a backseat to the Bertuzzi talks, but now it’s time to get Mantha signed.

What kind of deal do you think the Wings and Mantha will reach an accord upon? Will they work on a short-term, “bridge deal” like Bertuzzi’s one-year contract, or will the Red Wings invest in Mantha over the long haul?

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

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