On Tuesday the Detroit Red Wings signed Todd Bertuzzi to a one year, $1.5 million deal. This is an interesting deal on a few fronts. First, anytime a team decides to roll the dice on big Bert, it’s interesting. Second, it’s Bertuzzi’s second tour of duty with the Wings, he was a late season addition with Detroit in 2007. And third, Bertuzzi, at least on paper, it’s a bargain. He actually put up respectible numbers with Calgary last season, notching 44 points in only 66 games. Of course it’s the defensive liabilities and attitude problem that scares away most teams.
If there’s one team that has the leadership base to deal with Bertuzzi, it may be Detroit. And if there’s one coach to harness Bertuzzi, it may be Mike Babcock. Detroit is the only team in the league in which signing Todd Bertuzzi makes sense. Detroit is a team where he can play on the 2nd or 3rd line, and fade into the background a little bit.
Call me crazy, but I’m still a bit of a Bertuzzi fan. During his best years in Vancouver (2001-02 and 2002-03), he was arguably the most dominant player in team history. Just think about it. Pearson Trophy winner Markus Naslund played for Vancouver at the time and teams spent all their time coming up with game plans to stop big number 44.
In case you needed a refresher…