Forward Sean Bergenheim, like Jiri Tlusty, doesn’t seem to like what’s happening this offseason in the NHL. The salary cap going up less than expected has forced many teams to play free agency frugally, leaving a lot of veteran talent unsigned and taking tryout contracts.
Bergenheim’s agent said on Thursday that he has had “multiple PTO offers,” but isn’t interested in taking a tryout deal, according to Frank Seravalli. This is very similar to what Tlusty’s agent said shortly before he signed a one-year deal with the New Jersey Devils.
Holding out for a one-year deal isn’t a strategy many veterans without contracts are taking, which is clear to see if you look at the high profile names taking PTOs.
The 31-year-old Bergenheim ended the season with the Minnesota Wild, after getting traded from the Panthers, where he and coach Gerard Gallant didn’t seem to see eye-to-eye. In Minnesota he was effective in a depth role at times, but was also scratched at other times, including in the playoffs, when he failed to be effective for Minnesota.
Part of the acquisition was a history of strong playoff performances, even if that history was a bit limited. For Minnesota, through 10 postseason games, he played three games and didn’t register a point.
Overall, he grabbed 56 games last season, scoring nine goals and 19 points. It was the first time in six seasons he wasn’t over 10 goals and 20 points.
Bergenheim can be an effective player in the right role. He plays a strong possession game and can bring some secondary scoring to a team. His relative possession numbers are incredibly strong, indicative of a strong defensive game as well as an ability to produce offense.
Bergenheim may get a chance yet, with many teams bringing in players on PTOs hoping to find the right fit at the right price. Bergenheim may be a better option than most and may just get a deal, much like Tlusty did.
RELATED: The Hockey Writers’ 2015 PTO Tracker
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.