Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 03/04/07 at 11:31 AM ET
The day after the deadline we saw the predictable column of outrage from the Delicate Genius, Mitch Albom. It was precisely the formula he’s followed the last five years: ignore the Wings until an event occurs that makes it impossible not to write something, anything; then scribble out a few paragraphs with no original thought, and certainly nothing that would require a trip to the Joe.
Helene St. James took a more deliberate approach. Yes, she covered it from a hard-news angle, reporting the trade and the initial reaction. But she held off a few days before dropping a feature on us, which she’s done today. And it paid off for her. First thing I’ll point you to is a move I absolutely agree with. Get the guy signed, and sign him long-term.
Bertuzzi can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but in many ways staying in Detroit would be ideal. Bertuzzi spends summers in Kitchener, Ontario, a few hours’ drive. With the Wings, he’s expected to contribute to their success, not create it. He could help offset the likely loss of big forward Robert Lang and the potential loss of playmaking forward Pavel Datsyuk.
Bertuzzi doesn’t have much to say yet, because so much hinges on his back. The Wings already are campaigning for him to re-sign; that, at least, is the message sent by captain Nicklas Lidstrom on Bertuzzi’s first day.
“I just told him, welcome to the team,” Lidstrom said. “Hopefully he’ll stay here for a long time.”
I’ve got a hunch. I’ve got a hunch that this move is going to be huge. Bertuzzi, had he stayed in Florida, may have been playing by now. That was the chatter leading up to the deadline. Remember? He was supposed to play last Thursday. The Wings are going to stretch out his rehab as far as they can, but I’m betting he’s pretty damn close to healthy. And, he’s going to be a bull in a china shop when he’s finally allowed to suit up.
I’ve got a hunch that Chris Chelios is already in his ear, telling Bertuzzi that the player the Wings need is the abrasive, violent, ass-kicking, immovable force that we saw in Vancouver in ‘02.
And if we get that kind of player?
“He was unreal when he was here in Vancouver,” Naslund said. “He might be the most exciting player they’ve seen here, even more so than Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny. He brings so much more than scoring, because he can hit and make plays.”
Somehow, somebody’s gotta let this guy loose. If there’s baggage up there, someone’s gotta shake it and convince Bertuzzi that the most fun he ever had were the years he struck fear into all six opposing players, each for different reasons.
The Wings need Bertuzzi to be reckless and hungry. Violent and tenacious. Healthy first, of course, but after that? Let Dr. Chelios handle it from there.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org