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Abel to Yzerman

Tyler Bertuzzi On Not Getting Vaccinated

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Tyler Bertuzzi said he made a personal choice not to get the COVID-19 vaccinate.

Bertuzzi had a brief Zoom interview with media after Thursday’s training camp practice.

“It went fine, it was good,” Bertuzzi said of his chat with general manager Steve Yzerman about his decision not to get vaccinated. ”It’s a life choice, a personal choice. Personal choice.”

Bertuzzi said he’s talked with teammates about his decision.

“Everything is good, same as normal,” Bertuzzi said.

Bertuzzi didn’t think twice about his decision to not get vaccinated.

“It was pretty set in stone,” Bertuzzi said.


added 2:09pm, Watch Bertuzzi after today's practice.


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Hippy Dave's avatar


Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 09/23/21 at 01:12 PM ET

Temo's avatar

That’s really disappointing.

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 09/23/21 at 01:34 PM ET

Surfer Ken's avatar

I respect his decision.
Freedom of choice!

Posted by Surfer Ken from San Clemente on 09/23/21 at 01:36 PM ET


Every front office and player leadership group
is different i imagine.

But I do wonder if this would have been handled the same
way if it were a fringe player or a 4th liner competing for a spot
for which a few other guys had a chance as well.

It sort of cuts both ways: with a lockeroom and on ice leader
you expect more. But it’s also clear, according to Larkin himself,
how much having Bertuzzi on his line helps him.

I could see someone thinking to himself: why did you have to miss
at least nine games right off the hop when we missed you so much last year.
This isn’t an injury - it is a choice - exactly - it’s a decision to miss games.
But if you really like the guy and consider him a glue player, maybe you take the (hopefully) 90% of games he’ll be in the lineup.

Posted by lefty.30 on 09/23/21 at 01:38 PM ET

SYF's avatar

His body, his choice.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 09/23/21 at 01:44 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Yes, being selfish is a personal choice.

Trust Science.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 09/23/21 at 01:59 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Added video to the post of Bertuzzi talking with the media.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/23/21 at 02:10 PM ET


If trusting science means agreeing with Dr. Faux-Xi I will pass.

Posted by pnwwing on 09/23/21 at 02:11 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

So now he’ll miss games, force the entire organization to make special concessions when he bothers to be around, put his teammates and coaches AND their families in danger, and he has a kid on the way. All right after filing for (but signing before) arbitration. And after missing basically all of last year. Based on what? “I don’t wanna”. He’s not even making up a bogus medical or religious exemption, he just doesn’t wanna.

Real team leadership, there.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 02:18 PM ET


put his teammates and coaches AND their families in danger,

If they are all vaccinated, they are not in danger, right? Only Bert is in danger, so what’s the problem?

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 02:34 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

No, that’s not how vaccines work. And since this isn’t the forum to explain how vaccines work, I’ll just tell you that that is a completely disproved canard, and you should be ashamed to post it.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 02:37 PM ET


they’ll wait to see if the back holds up, but thinking that if another GM is willing to bite the bullet on the Canada thing, he’s gone.

SY doesn’t tolerate any outliers..drouin, st. louis, mantha, ect.

Posted by rickytarr on 09/23/21 at 02:38 PM ET


It’s not “Selfish” to refuse to be experimented on, it’s a logical choice to make when someone is trying to jab you with a cooked up and untested mRNA substance.

Posted by StargateSG1 on 09/23/21 at 03:03 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by StargateSG1

mRNA vaccines have been in development since 2003, have been in use for COVID19 for over a year, and are approved by the CDC and the FDA. It’s not an “experiment”, the vaccines work, full stop. And if you’re STILL scared of the mRNA vax, get J&J, which uses the old flu-shot tech.

The fact is, there are very, very few legit medical reasons to refuse the jab. He’s not being “brave” or “taking a stand”. He doesn’t wanna, which puts the entire organ-Y-zation in jeopardy, and makes everyone give him special treatment.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:09 PM ET


you should be ashamed to post it.

And I think it’s a shame to get angry at a player (person) who does not want to take an experimental drug for a illness with 99.99% survival rate (at least among healthy individuals). As to your “expertise” in vaccines, let’s see what happens in 3-5 years because this is the amount of time usually needed to figure out if vaccine helps and does not have critical side effects.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 03:16 PM ET


No, cause it’s killing people….

Posted by StargateSG1 on 09/23/21 at 03:17 PM ET


mRNA vaccines have been in development since 2003

And never approved for use for 18 years….

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 03:18 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by VPalmer

Now—right now— it’s approved by the FDA, is safe and effective, has been in use for over a year, and there have been no widespread reports of serious side-effects (despite what you’ve “learned” on YouTube). And like I said above, if you’re STILL scared of the mRNA vaccines, get the J&J. It doesn’t work as well, esp v mutations, but uses the old flu shot technology.


Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:24 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by StargateSG1

YouTube is not a source, and posting something from YouTube as some sort of legit argument is sad and laughable in equal quantities.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:25 PM ET



You can believe whatever you want to believe and youtube has nothing to do with anything.
That video is from FDA expert testimonies.
I’ll believe real doctors instead of Fauci or Big Pharma making billions.

Posted by StargateSG1 on 09/23/21 at 03:33 PM ET

a_k_l's avatar

I guess the saying, “admire the art, be skeptical of the artist” holds true here as well.

I really like the way he plays the game.

At the same time, I fundamentally disagree with his decision. I am sure that there are members of the Wings organization who support him. And there are ones who do not think highly of his decision. 

We should let Yzerman deal with any impact this has on the team (if any). For me, it was telling that Steve actually openly talked about the issue yesterday (“I am vaccinated” etc.) instead of giving one of his usual non-answers.

Posted by a_k_l on 09/23/21 at 03:35 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by VPalmer

The mRNA vaccines are 100% out of your system in 72 hours. Yes, “we’ll see” about long term effects, but those aren’t showing up at all yet, in vaccines that have been used around the world for over a year. Covid DOES have long-term effects in survivors, tho. That much we’re sure of.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:35 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Some of the comments going off topic a bit but it is okay as long as you respect the words from others.

Carry on if you must.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/23/21 at 03:36 PM ET


if you’re STILL scared of the mRNA vaccines, get the J&J.

Why? If a person believes vaccine works, that person by all means should get it and “protect” himself.You will never hear from an unvaccinated person any disapproval for another person taking a vaccine. Why so much anger from the vaccinated crowd towards unvaccinated? You are protected, be happy, leave unvaccinated people alone, we are at no risk to you because you just said that vaccines work.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 03:41 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by StargateSG1

Facts don’t care whether you believe them or not. The mRNA vaccines are safe and effective, no matter your “belief”.

YouTube is not a source. It never has been and isn’t now.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:44 PM ET


The mRNA vaccines are 100% out of your system in 72 hours.

Many studies say the opposite. It stays in your system for life and every next shot adds to that. The problem is we live in the world where we really should be skeptical of any study, but the fact people get paid to take a vaccine speaks volume to me. I respect your position on vaccines, I am sure you did research, just not sure why you cannot accept other views of people who also do research on the subject.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 03:47 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by VPalmer

No vaccine, in the history of the world, has ever been 100% effective. There are breakthru cases with these vaccines, too.

The fact is that if you’re not vaccinated, you are VASTLY more likely to contract covid, MUCH more likely to be hospitalized by it, you are a breeding ground for variants, your viral load makes you MUCH more likely to spread it, making you a danger to everyone you’re around. ICUs are packed with covid patients (96% of whom were unvaccinated, last I read), to the point that they can’t treat accident victims and cancer patients.

There’s also the societal impact, with everything shutting down because of dangerous variants. You like having people in the building for hockey games? Getting vaccinated is the fastest and best way to ensure that that will continue to happen.

I didn’t lose 18 months of my career (I work in the live entertainment industry) so that a bunch of selfish people would get it all shut down again. Bert is refusing to be vaccinated for no other reason than he doesn’t wanna, despite the danger he puts everyone else, incl the economy, into.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:54 PM ET

a_k_l's avatar

@VPalmer - my issue is with the unprecedented load on hospital staff and ICU’s. I live in Canada, so I will use this country in my examples below. 

Currently Alberta is at 87% ICU capacity. Without added surge beds, they would be at 166%. They do not have the capacity to properly care for all these patients. 70+% of this is unvaccinated Covid cases. They are asking for other provinces to help airlifting patients.

In smaller, more rural communities in BC, 80+% of ICU beds are taken up by unvaccinated Covid patients.

Al these people deserve the care. But it must be said, that their behavior puts other people at risk. If there is need for an ICU bed (accident, heart attack, post-surgery, etc.) but is not available, well, those people will receive subpar care.

Therefore, stating that “you are at not risk” is factually incorrect.

Posted by a_k_l on 09/23/21 at 03:57 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Because your research hasn’t yielded factual results, and you spreading that misinformation around makes covid more dangerous, and more likely to lead to variants, shutdowns, etc etc.

The fact that you don’t wanna is not a legit reason, when it puts everyone else in danger.

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 03:57 PM ET


The fact is that if you’re not vaccinated, you are VASTLY more likely to contract covid

I think that comes from CDC or FDA and to me it’s just a propaganda. 2 key scientists/doctors resigning from FDA last week I believe just proves the point not every person is willing to be part of it.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 04:11 PM ET


They do not have the capacity to properly care for all these patients. 70+% of this is unvaccinated Covid cases

If that’s true, I understand your concern and respect it.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 04:18 PM ET

d ca's avatar

...bringing the subject back to the issues ‘lil Bert is creating within the organization as I’m done listening to others spout their personnel beliefs on vaccines while putting my family at personnel risk by coming into the ER.

Agree with the sentiment that Yzerman will move on from ‘lil Bert as quickly as he thinks he can get decent value from a trade. Bert’s age and longevity from his style of play were already a question for the Wings timetable of competitiveness. This action does seem to fit the pattern Yzerman uses to move on from a player. But that won’t even be feasible until next off-season at the earliest.

Lets dig into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 season for unvaccinated players and the rifts they will cause:

1) Team employees or contractors whose job or access entails or entitles them to personal interactions team operations personnel are required to be vaccinated, from coaches and general managers to media and the attendants on charter flights. Players are strongly encouraged to become fully vaccinated; preferably with the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Think that won’t cause resentment?

2) Teams have the ability to suspend unvaccinated players

(sick of writing it so herein referred to UP)

if they are “unable to participate in club activities.” Players forfeit pay for each day they miss, this include being unable to travel because of local, provincial/state and/or federal health authorities — even if they are more stringent than those imposed by the NHL. A day’s pay is calculated as 1/200 of a player’s salary and the suspensions will last as long as the player is unable to join team activities.

Think not being able to travel to games with teammates isn’t going to be an issue even if it is just below the surface?

3) Before training camp opens UP have to quarantine 7 days.

4) UP subject to daily testing throughout the season. Vaccinated players will take PCR tests every 72 hours. The NHL and NHLPA can change the frequency of testing after they meet on Nov. 1.

—what do you want to bet that the NHL puts pressure on the NHLPA to change the frequency of those tests to more if a team is not totally vaccinated and less if a team is.

5) Traveling for away games, unvaccinated players are only allowed: in the arena, team hotel, and practice facility; they cannot use any shared facilities such as hotel gyms, pools, saunas; they are not allowed to have teammates, team staff or visitors inside their hotel rooms unless they are fully-vaccinated family members; and they cannot leave the hotel to buy food or go to any restaurants and bars that are open to the public. Only curbside pickup is available as long and they do not have to go inside to pick up.

Even with internet access and video messaging…that is going to get old quickly. Think not being able to hang out with a teammate is going to bring a team together?

At home, UP must wear a mask around the rink (with the limited exception of short
duration (1-2 minute) segments where the Player is speaking or skating) and distance himself when working out in the gym. Distance required is a min. of 9’ during all activities entailing physical exertion off the ice. No spotters may break the 9’ barrier. The off-ice workout/treatment areas may not have more than 8 other players (provided 9’ distance can be provided). 1 staff member will be allowed to supervise workout.

Not engaging in dining, even at home, with others that are not in your household.

That will go over well in a pregnancy. Plus how hard can a player push themselves in the weight room without a spotter?

6) UP are not allowed to carpool.

7) If an UP does contract COVID and “failed to comply” with the league’s protocols, 50% of costs associated will be charged to the NHLPA’s share of hockey-related revenue.

(Testing costs are included in this rider and are substantial).

All this doesn’t even mention what the effects are on the Wings staff employees that will have to keep track of every move Bertuzzi makes so as to adhere to protocol. Think someone in management won’t be eager to recover some of the costs by “snitching” should he test positive?

This is the worst case scenario as taking money out of someone’s pocket—whether it is a teammate or an opponent will cause issues even if they are minor.

Posted by d ca on 09/23/21 at 04:19 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

Well glad the Team knows and understands his position.  I guess you can call his absence a health reason but I’m sure the league ill be allowing Cap relief for those days. If we got guys riding pine those days it won’t be a GM problem but if we have to call someone up one game Stevie could get peeved.  As far as the vaccine goes worst case would be like Thalidomide, offspring born without legs, arms, brains, etc.  or worse.  What’s worse Covid or the unknown ?

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 09/23/21 at 04:23 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by VPalmer

But they didn’t resign over the safety or efficacy of any of the vaccines, tho, did they?

Posted by Steeb on 09/23/21 at 04:24 PM ET


But they didn’t resign over the safety or efficacy of any of the vaccines, tho, did they?

We do not know exact reason (some say it was because of boosters, some say they did not agree with FDA director decisions, some say other things), but they were directly in charge of the vaccines.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/23/21 at 04:40 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“It’s his choice,” captain and close friend Dylan Larkin said. “Tyler has looked into it, weighed all of his options. It was his choice not to get it. Tyler’s very popular in our room, he’s a very big part of our locker room. We’re going to miss him on the ice, we’re going to miss him in the locker room when he’s not able to play, but he has our support, I guess you could say. We are just going to miss him when he’s not there. We are going to have to find a way, you can’t think about it too much. You have to find ways to move on and be ready to play.”

Larkin said he and Bertuzzi talked about the situation over the summer. “He’s explained it to me. Tyler has thought a lot about it. I know that there’s a lot of support for him making his own decision, but there is also a part that everybody knows we are going to miss him when he can’t play.”


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/23/21 at 04:51 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar


Pfizer six month study before being released to the public for use. 20 people died. I received this from my doctor after I ended up in the hospital in May of this year with blood clots that filled the vein in my one leg (I have photos to prove it) and 14 Pulmonary Emblems that should have killed me (which i heard for the two weeks I was in the hospital from countless doctors).

I am not anti vaccine at all, more the antithesis. But there are true concerns with these vaccines being rushed through that is not reported. Many people have died from this vaccine (famous too, Marvin Hagler, possibly Hank Aaron, etc), that is not reported. I do not think there is some conspiracy to clone us or put chips in us, but I think the quick release of these vaccines are more reactionary then thought out. Plus, there is a shit load of money being made.

But I guess the blood clots saved my life, because they discovered another ugly thing in my lung which I am still dealing with. I emailed Paul in May to let him know what was going on.  Paul remarked “I thought I was having a bad week.”

I was not going to say anything regarding this because I really do not have the strength to waste, but this is out of control here. Personal choice and freedom cannot be sacrificed. Look at Texas and abortion. I am not for abortion unless it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s not my body. It should be the individuals choice, not a government entity. I am not a Redhatter or Blue whatever. I think logic is one of the most powerful tools humans have. I would add compassion to that toolbox too. Making judgements on someone’s personal choice is a character flaw in my opinion. I wonder how all of you would react to being put under a microscope for your choices?

I would also think about how many people you know that have Cancer or have died of Cancer in your life time. Why is this not considered an epidemic? Look at all the Cancer Centers just in Michigan or in the state you live in.

I would suggest we all stick with hockey and move on and respect each other’s choice. Especially since this choice will not affect you directly.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 09/23/21 at 05:13 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The NHL prides itself in being the ultimate team sport. People in the sport celebrate the idea that every player is valuable and teammates must stand up for each other. It’s almost a code in this sport.  All for one, one for all.

That’s why Bertuzzi’s decision seems more selfish than brave, an act of thoughtlessness, not the heroism of a rebel. Whether teammates admit it or not, he is letting his teammates down. If he misses nine games, that’s more than 10% of the schedule. In most divisions, nine games will the difference between qualifying for the playoffs or not.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/23/21 at 05:13 PM ET

awould's avatar

Wonder if the hospital will allow him inside to see his kid being born. Helluva hill to die on with all the consequences he’s facing for it.

Posted by awould on 09/23/21 at 05:18 PM ET

Chet's avatar

He’s being a selfish child, and if it was up to me I’d terminate his contract. No trade, just SEEYA.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 09/23/21 at 06:02 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com