Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings will give Bertuzzi more than a bobblehead this Thursday?

Updated 4x at 1:27 PM: In the, “This makes sense for both parties” depertmaent, the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings and Todd Bertuzzi will keep on keepin’ on:

The Detroit Red Wings will announce a two-year extension for forward Todd Bertuzzi as early as Thursday, Bertuzzi’s agent, Pat Morris, told the Free Press today that “we’re working at it, and getting closer.” The sides have been talking for the past month.

Bertuzzi, 37, is in the last of a two-year deal that’s averaged $1,937,500. His new deal is for closer to $2.2 million a season, and is backloaded.

General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press last month that “I think Bert’s been great all season.” The Wings like how Bertuzzi has developed into a two-way player, and how he helped get the first line going after being put with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen on Nov. 17, in the game against Los Angeles. Bertuzzi has 12 goals and is plus-21 in 54 games this season.

Update: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos confirms and Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski reminds us that the whole Steve Moore trial not being discussed unwritten rule in the Wings’ locker room thing (actually, I thought it was a written rule as Bertuzzi’s stated that he can’t legally speak about the matte on the advisement of his attorney) helps with Bertuzzi’s comfort level.

Update #2: MLive’s Ansar Khan is confirming….

Todd Bertuzzi is close to signing a two-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings, hie agent, Pat Morris, confirmed in a text message to M-Live.com

A team source said the new deal, which could be announced as early as Thursday, will have a salary cap hit of slightly more than $2 million. Bertuzzi is in the final year of a two-year deal with a salary-cap hit of $1.937 million.

Bertuzzi, who turned 37 on Feb. 2, got off to a slow start, with one goal and two assists in 11 games. But he has played well since mid-November, when he was played on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, after missing six games in early with a back injury.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told M-Live.com earlier this month that the club wanted to re-sign Bertuzzi.

The team was hoping to sign him to a one-year deal, but was able to lower the cap hit by offering two years.

“Ever since (coach) Mike Babcock teamed him up with Franzen and Pav, they’ve been a real good line,’’ Holland said earlier this month. “I think Bert’s in great shape, playing with a lot of confidence and he’s got real good chemistry with those two guys.’‘

And the Denver Post’s Terry Frei mentioned the latest developments in the Moore civil suit last week.

I fully support the concept that a significant chunk of Bertuzzi’s earnings should end up with Steve Moore and I don’t condone Bertuzzi’s actions any more than Bertuzzi does…But the Puck Daddy level of smarm about a man trying to continue his life as a decent person who did an unconscionable thing but is a man, not a monster…

The key date for Todd Bertuzzi now that he’s apparently decided to remain with the Detroit Red Wings on a 2-year extension: Sept. 24.

The trial over former Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore’s $38 million lawsuit against Bertuzzi, for that career-ending attack in 2004, would have started on Oct. 12 if Bertuzzi didn’t have an NHL contract after this season; now, it begins on Sept. 24, as the legal wrangling continues over who will be liable if Moore wins the case.

Can you think of another franchise in the National Hockey League that would offer more support, comfort and insulation for a player in Bertuzzi’s spot than the Red Wings? No one will whisper a word about distractions or disappointment or personal opinions on the incident.

We don’t want to say Detroit runs a tight ship, but it would have plowed through that iceberg in the Atlantic back in 1912 without a leak.

Todd Bertuzzi is a human being who owes Steve Moore a lot of money. The only part of that equation I don’t understand is why Moore’s lawyer’s swinging for the sue-everybody fences when Steve more than deserves to move on with his life as well, and in the interim, I don’t feel guilty about liking the Todd Bertuzzi who’s a very different person in his second go-round with the Wings.

Update #3: From the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:

As this NHL season draws closer to the playoffs, the Wings have already begun working on how the roster for next season and beyond is going to look.

Todd Bertuzzi, who is in the final year of a two-year deal for just under $2 million a season, is close to signing a two-year extension with the team. Bertuzzi’s agent Patrick Morris sent a text stating that the two sides are close to a deal. The deal, which could be announced as early as Thursday, is expected to have a salary-cap hit of just over $2 million a season

Bertuzzi, who just turned 37, has played on the Wings’ top line after missing six games earlier this season with a back injury. When Wings coach Mike Babcock put him along with Pavel Datsyuk and John Franzen that unit really caught fire. He has 12 goals and 17 assists in 54 games this season and is a plus-21, which is the second best plus-minus rating amongst the forwards. Franzen leads the forwards at a plus-26.

Wings GM Ken Holland said earlier this month that the team wanted to re-sign Bertuzzi.

“He’s in great shape and playing with a lot of confidence,” Holland said. “And that line as got great chemistry.

On Tuesday, the team traded for defenseman Kyle Quincey. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the season and Holland has already said they would make him an offer to remain with the team.

The Wings have a long list of unrestricted free agents to sign or let go this offseason. Defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart and Mike Commodore, along with forwards Jiri Hudler and Tomas Holmstrom are all in the final year of deals as is goalie Ty Conklin, who was assigned to Grand Rapids after clearing waivers on Tuesday.

Forwards Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader are also restricted free agents at the end of the season and both are expected to re-sign.

Update #4: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also confirms:

Bertuzzi’s agent Pat Morris expects to talk with general manager Ken Holland within the next couple days to work out final details on a two-year extension that would total approximately $4.2 million ($2.1 million per season).

Bertuzzi is in the final season of a deal that earns him $1.9 million this season.

“I’m optimistic we can get something done, but I don’t want to set any timetable,” Morris said. “There are a few small details that need to be worked out. I expect to chat with Kenny here in the next little while and we’ll see what happens. Todd doesn’t want to go anywhere. He’s been good for Detroit and Detroit has been good for Todd. The way he’s skating, it belies his birth certificate (37) All that (a deal) can happen but we’ll see. I have a good feeling.”

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

I know there are going to be arguments from both sides on this one, but I for one like it.  I know his on ice numbers have peaked, but there is a whole lot Bert brings to the room off the ice.  Good move by Uncle Kenny.

Posted by AlvinB on 02/22/12 at 02:13 PM ET

Avatar

38 million?!?!?!? What the *#$%@& does Moore’s lawyer think Bertuzzi is? A corporation?!? What Bert did was terrible and Moore is lucky to be walking again (let alone playing hockey), but damn .. I don’t think Bert will have made that in his entire career when he’s retired. 15 million for lost wages/pain/medical/mental distraught seems like a perfect number. Moore isn’t *#$%@& dead or missing limbs so 38 million just seems crazy to me

Posted by dayumnGina from Martins Room on 02/22/12 at 02:40 PM ET

Michiru Kaioh's avatar

When the season started I’d have been pretty shocked and annoyed by this, but I think he’s playing his best hockey now, and at that kind of a cap number, with his size and skill I think it’s a really good idea. Hopefully he can keep up this level of play.

Posted by Michiru Kaioh on 02/22/12 at 02:43 PM ET

Avatar

38 million?!?!?!? What the *#$%@& does Moore’s lawyer think Bertuzzi is? A corporation?!? What Bert did was terrible and Moore is lucky to be walking again (let alone playing hockey), but damn .. I don’t think Bert will have made that in his entire career when he’s retired. 15 million for lost wages/pain/medical/mental distraught seems like a perfect number. Moore isn’t *#$%@& dead or missing limbs so 38 million just seems crazy to me

Posted by dayumnGina from Martins Room on 02/22/12 at 12:40 PM ET

The damages being sought have nothing to do with Bertuzzi’s salary or status. Of course, who exactly is liable (the franchise, the coach, the player…and any insurance policies borne by any of those actors) is a critical question, as that will go a long way to determining how much money Moore ultimately recovers.

But I agree with the second half of your entry. Moore’s injuries cut his career short, but it can certainly be argued that he was a borderline player and his career earnings wouldn’t have been too significant (though his brother has eeked out a decent career, and he was a lower draft pick).  I haven’t looked this over in any detail, but there might be a punitive element associated with the damages as well.

Posted by toolazytologin on 02/22/12 at 03:10 PM ET

Avatar

I bought a Bertuzzi jersey and wore it to the Joe for every home game. People would comment on it all the time because it was rare to see some one wearing one.

A year later and i see his jerseys throughout the Joe on a regular basis.
Im sure he appreciates how Detroit (the fans and the organization) have embraced him and his family.

He’s a great addition to the locker room and he fills a role on the ice. Im happy to have him back for another couple of seasons.

Posted by Bert from Detroit on 02/22/12 at 03:57 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I can live with this – as long as Bert’s contract contains a provision that fines him $1,000 for every blind, behind-the-back pass he makes to an opposing player. smile

What I don’t like about it is that it’s for two years and that it may block the addition of some of the “youngsters” to the roster (like Nyquist). At least the shootouts will be entertaining for the next two years.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/22/12 at 04:36 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Glad to have him back in the fold.  The guys in the dressing room love him and Bert plays with underrated (underappreciate?) skill.  That’s what matters to the Wings.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 02/22/12 at 05:24 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

All I can think about is Kenny giving Berty a bobblehead.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 02/22/12 at 05:47 PM ET

Avatar

The $38M figure is not from Bertuzzi is getting sued as an individual. He is part of three parties being sued by Moore and his parents. Each could have produce their own witness to blame the others (Crawford ordered the fight, Van’s owner is responsible ultimately as it paid the employees who acted).

Bertuzzi in response sued the Canucks owner Orca Bay and Marc Crawford.

There was a settlement agreement with Crawford and with Orca Bay that remains secret (picture the ex-cop Brown and the whistle blowers lawsuit against the City and Kwame). In the agreement Bertuzzi got some kind of financial benefit. Yes, Bertuzzi (not Moore). And all the parties agreed not to sue each other.

An Ontario court judge has given the three parties seven days to produce a secret agreement they signed that essentially absolves each of them of blame and counter-suits in civil claims. Those papers will be filed to the court under seal so they will remain secret.

In addition there will be hearings on if the agreement melts the three defense witnesses into two defenses as Bertuzzi can be seen as being a co Bertuzzi-Crawford agreed defense.

The Canadian Press is all over this.

Posted by dca from back in MI formerly Alexandria, VA on 02/23/12 at 02:05 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.