Auston Matthews reveals his new nickname for linemate Tyler Bertuzzi

Mike Armenti
April 15, 2024  (11:00)

Tyler Bertuzzi getting in hard on the forecheck against Seattle
Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Nicknames in hockey are nothing new. In most cases, a player's nickname is often derived from their last name, but there are some players, like Auston Matthews for example, whose nicknames have nothing to do with their last name and are much more creative.

Matthews has a few interesting names, including Papi, Tone, Tony and even Big Cactus (yes, it's a real thing - look it up). Back when "Jumbo" Joe Thornton played in Toronto, he gifted William Nylander with a name that has stuck, dubbing him "Willy Styles", which is now branded on all of Nylander's sticks. Calle Jarnkrok recently dubbed Max Domi as "Beauty", which has since caught on. Tyler Bertuzzi was recently featured on a Leafs Blueprint clip calling Domi "Beauuuty" in a hilarious high pitched voice during a hand-off of the player of the game belt. Now, it's Bertuzzi who has landed himself a new nickname, courtesy of Big Cactus, Auston Matthews himself.
While most players on the team refer to Bertuzzi as "Bert", Auston Matthews and Calle Jarnkrok have gone an extra step in creating a name that they believe suits him. Jarnkrok, A.K.A. "Jarny" calls him "Crazy Bert". Matthews, however, has begun calling him "Toozer".
"Toozer" has fit in very well with the Leafs after a slow and concerning start to the year after signing a 1-year, $5.5M deal as a free agent back on July 2nd. With 12 points in his last 13 games, Bertuzzi is heating up at just the right time for the Buds, ahead of their probably Round 1 matchup against the Florida Panthers, who took them out in Round 2 last season.

Tyler Bertuzzi has found a home on the top line in Toronto with Auston Matthews and Max Domi

Along with Matthews and Max Domi, Bertuzzi and his linemates have formed a top line that can beat you in a variety of ways. Matthews can beat goalies both from range and from in close, Bertuzzi can work effectively along the wall and down below the goal line, but also cause havoc in front of the net, and Domi can wheel and distribute the puck very well. Obviously, it bears mentioning that both Bertuzzi and Domi won't hesitate to punch you in the face if you get too close to Matthews.
For much of the season, we've seen this Leafs team evolve from a tight-knit group to a brotherhood, who have stood up for one another and played for one another, rather than focusing on themselves. As a result, there has been tremendous chemistry built up and down the lineup and a number of players have had career years because of it - most notably, Auston Matthews and William Nylander, who seem to have a lot more time and space to work with this season.
With how well Bertuzzi has fit in this year, and with how much he seems to enjoy being a Leaf, it will be interesting to see if he'll be willing to leave a little bit of money on the table this summer to remain in Toronto beyond this season. Yes, the cap is going up, and yes, the Leafs have a lot of money coming off of the books, but the increased salaries of Matthews and Nylander are going to eat up a good chunk of their space for next season and beyond, so if Bertuzzi does want to remain a Leaf, and if he does want to continue to play alongside one of the best players on the planet in Auston Matthews, he may have to settle for an AAV in a similar range to the one he's earning now. If he wants anything over $6M, possible even $7M, I'm just not sure how Brad Treliving and company can make it work.
"Toozer" hasn't posted any career-highs this season after a slow start, so perhaps the asking price will be more modest than many are expecting it to be. However, we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves, because a big playoffs from Bertuzzi could still net him a huge pay day on July 1st.
15 AVRIL   |   342 ANSWERS
Auston Matthews reveals his new nickname for linemate Tyler Bertuzzi

Will Tyler Bertuzzi be a Maple Leaf when the puck drops to kick off the 2024-25 season?

Yes25674.9 %
No8625.1 %
Latest 10 stories