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Let The Debate Begin, And It’s A Duzzi


Via TSN,

The Detroit Red Wings added some size and veteran presence up front by agreeing on a one-year contract with former Wing Todd Bertuzzi.

The veteran forward needs to pass a standard physical to make the deal official. 

The Grand Rapids Press, The Detroit Free Press and MLive.com claim the team was offering a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

There was too much talk, too many confirmations and way too much angst for this NOT to happen.  Jimmy D drunkenly babbled about it then Kenny Holland was left with no choice but to confirm that negotiations with Todd Bertuzzi are real, ongoing and most likely almost finished.

So, yeah.  In the midst of a slow summer replete with defecting Czechs and slow-moving Tuesdays, we now have the return of Bertuzzi.  And just as I felt back in the Spring of 2007?

I like it.  I like that he’s mean and I like that he’s hated.  Even if that means he’s hated in Hockeytown?

Yep. I can deal with that too.


Andrew mentioned that I was conditionally in favor of the Bert deal back in 2007, and he was right. We’re going to compare the circumstances in a second.  But, first, as I was looking back at the posts from two years ago I came across a quote from our Enigma, Smilin’ Bobby Lang.  He was discussing our off-again, on-again BFF, Jason Williams.  Remember why he left?  Well, maybe his return had a little bit to do with why Bertuzzi’s back in the fold.

Check this out from Never A Bad Day Bobby.

Freep, March 2007

With Calder on the ice, Lang knows he’ll get the puck one way or another because of Calder’s willingness to play in traffic.

“We had Willie there before, and he didn’t really want to do that that much,” Lang said. “He had a great shot and good speed, but I think Kyle is a little bit grittier in those areas, especially around the net and in the corners. That’s the biggest difference-Willie had more speed and more skill, but I think we had enough skill on that line already. We kind of needed a little bit more of the grit.”

Bertuzzi brings the promise of violence.  Despite what people have written the last two days, he’s not a “perimiter” player now. He’s a crease guy. He’s a corners guy and he’s a worker.  He’s popular with every facet of our organ-I-zation…except the fans.  Is that the majority?  I don’t know. But if it is, I’m willing to play the pariah.

If he’s healthy, that’s twenty goals.  Twenty tough goals, gritty goals.  If he’s healthy it’s a big, psychopathic body the other teams have to concern themselves with.  And get this. For one year, Todd Bertuzzi makes up for the loss of Jiri Hudler. 

I’m fully aware that this opinion is unpopular with more than half of you, like 11 or 12.  But I dug it in 2007 and I dig it even more now, when we need him more, and we do.  You don’t lose 90 goals and not worry about it, or appease that loss through the signing of Jason Williams and Patrick Eaves.  I intensely dislike the Williams signing. I just do and I can’t fully explain it. I haven’t liked his comments leading up to the deal and even after.  I never liked the guy and I doubt I will even if he pops in 15 or 20.

I think Bertuzzi adds, if healthy, an element we need and that’s intimidation mixed with skill.  I also think we all need to come to grips with the fact that Homer is on the downslope.  He’s not a 30 goal guy anymore and his presence in front of the net is not what it used to be.  Bertuzzi can augment that. 

Oh, I know.  I frigging know.  The elephant in the room is the Moore incident.  Got it.  Noted.  I’m not downplaying it but it’s a frigging crutch.  Did we hate Lemieux for just the Draper hit, or for his actions afterward, the way he refused to acknowledge responsibility?  Todd Bertuzzi stuck up for his teammate and made a bad move,  a horrible move that he’d take back if he could.

I don’t think Claude Lemieux would take anything back and his antics before and after prove that.

I’ll take Bertuzzi and his penchant for violence. I’ll take it and I’ll hope we see flashes of it when the Wings need it. 

And here’s something else we talked about in 2007.  Guess how hates this? Despises it with every bit of marrow in their frail, pale little bodies.  Yep. Dive fans.

I like the fact that the Wings have dealt for the player Denver hates.  Do I condone what he did? No.  But, I “forgave” him long before yesterday, and I’ve said so here many times.  Am I happy that fringe player and near-goon Steve Moore had his career and life changed by the hit?  No. 

But does it bother me to see the player who assaulted him on the Wings?  Just the opposite.  I like it, and I’m betting there are more than a few of you who see the beauty in it. 

If I were a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, and I actually knew where the Wings played their home games, would I be writing this?  No. I’d be fired for my lack of sensitivity.  None of the radio hacks will say it either. 

But I can, and I will.  I’ll defend it if I have to but I’m not changing my stance:  I love this deal because it’s another way to stick it to Denver.  If any Dique fans take issue with that, feel free to cc: Kris Draper with your responses.

That was back in ‘07.  Today?

Mile High Hockey

I hope Bertuzzi does sign with the Red Wings. That’s a match made in heaven. Hated players belong on hated teams.

by mcarson01 on Aug 17, 2009 9:48 AM MDT up reply actions   0 recs

You’re damn right they do.

Welcome back Bert.  Stay healthy and let’s get down to the business of earning more hate. 

Summer’s done.  Let’s drop the puck bitches. 


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About Abel to Yzerman

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