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Todd Bertuzzi clarifies details of Red Wings’ ping pong-gate

Updated 4x at 6:41 PM: The story regarding Todd Bertuzzi possibly telling the Nashville Predators to get their own damn ping pong table was mostly debunked this morning via Twitter, so the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James tried to get to the bottom of the story:

“I came out of our room, saw some of their guys wanting to play on our Ping Pong tables and told security,” Bertuzzi told the Free Press. “I didn’t do anything else. I didn’t move the table myself.”

Rumors that Bertuzzi had personally packed up the table and wheeled it away swirled around the morning skates today. The Wings host the Predators at 7:30 (NBCSN, FSD) in Game 4 looking to even the first-round series. No one among the Wings had heard of Ping Pong Gate, but greeted it with delight.

“You know he’s a terrible Ping Pong player,” Danny Cleary said with a grin. “At least he can do something with it. But it’s good. He’s our sheriff around here.”

When a TV reporter asked Detroit coach Mike Babcock about it during his morning press conference, he said, “is that true or not?” A team spokesman yelled out, “no,” which made Babcock laugh.

“So that’s why stuff like that is rumors,” he said. “Lots of the rumors that are going around, honest to God, when I’m bored, I start them to get them going.”
...
The team spokesman likened the situation to a visiting team’s player going into the home team’s gym and using the workout equipment, something that would never happen. Besides, the Wings feel it’s only fair to keep the Predators away from their hallway, as the Predators won’t allow the Wings to walk through the hallway outside their locker room at Bridgestone Arena, forcing the Wings to have to walk around to exit.

Continued with lineup news.

Update: The National Post’s Michael Traikos offers the Predators’ side of the story:

“They took that privilege away, I guess,” said Brandon Yip, who added that the Predators had no issue using the tables during the regular season. “It’s nothing. We just wanted to play a little ping-pong to get our co-ordination going, but they said they weren’t allowing us to play. It’s not a big deal though. It’s whatever they want to do.”

According to Red Wings TV producer Will Posthumus, forward Todd Bertuzzi played off-ice enforcer and “told them if they wanted to play, they needed their own table, and then folded up the table and rolled it into the Wings locker room.”The Red Wings PR staff denied this, although some Detroit players had a laugh at the big, burly Bertuzzi grabbing a Ping-Pong ball in his hands, crushing it and then walking away.

“You know he’s a terrible ping-pong player,” said Dan Cleary. “At least he can do something with it. He’s our sheriff around here. I’d do the same thing. We have two tables. We have a lot of guys who want to play, so we have to have them free.”

“It was the security guard,” said Yip. “There was no confrontation or anything like that. I don’t know where that came from, but [Bertuzzi] wasn’t out there.”

Whether it was Bertuzzi or not, Predators head coach Barry Trotz refused to get involved in the gamesmanship of playoff hockey.

“If they want a ping pong table in Nashville, we’re more than willing to give them one,” he said. “They have their toys, we have our toys. It’s their decision. It’s their toys. They can take them away.”

Update #2: MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff confirm the news.

Update #3: Ditto for the Tennessean’s Joshua Cooper.

Update #4: WXYZ’s Brad Galli, the Detroit News’s David Goricki and The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness weigh in as well.

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Comments

42jeff's avatar

You know there would have been hell to pay if they had taken Jimmy’s Hungry Hungry Hippo game.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/17/12 at 03:01 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Posted by 42jeff from Minot, North Dakota on 04/17/12 at 01:01 PM ET

LMAO

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 04/17/12 at 03:03 PM ET

Avatar

“The next time I see one of them using it, I’m going to grab their shirt from behind, round house sucker punch them to the side of the head, and drive their head into the ground with all of my weight behind it breaking their neck,” Bertuzzi added.

Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 04:03 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 02:03 PM ET

Hahaha well-played.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/17/12 at 04:06 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

“The next time I see one of them using it, I’m going to grab their shirt from behind, round house sucker punch them to the side of the head, and drive their head into the ground with all of my weight behind it breaking their neck,” Bertuzzi added.
Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 02:03 PM ET

And all of Robin’s minstrels rejoiced while Mr. Illitch walked forward with a check to the NHL player’s association pre-filled for $2500.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/17/12 at 04:22 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 02:03 PM ET

Glad that posting on KK can keep you entertained during the postseason.  Lord knows the Avs can’t.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 04/17/12 at 05:08 PM ET

Avatar

@ WingsFaninCO

Glad that you can have a life living in CO.  Roy knows you couldn’t have one living in Detoilet.

Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 06:26 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Original material, you have.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/17/12 at 06:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Roy knows you couldn’t have one living in Detoilet.

Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that Roy does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen.

Roy is not dead; Roy is busy contemplating his own greatness.  Too busy, in fact, to raise children who aren’t violent criminals.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/17/12 at 06:42 PM ET

Avatar

Hey Bob…get a life.  It’ll do ya good.

Posted by Jeff in CO on 04/17/12 at 07:05 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

@ WingsFaninCO

Glad that you can have a life living in CO.  Roy knows you couldn’t have one living in Detoilet.

Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 04:26 PM ET

It takes a real mental giant to drag out a tired old line about a city I never lived in.  But your mental midgetry only illustrates why people from out of state are getting Colorado jobs: morons like you with heir “native” bumper stickers just aren’t smart enough to get the jobs.  I understand you are bitter that your team missed the playoffs, AGAIN, and that is why you are lashing out.  But, hey, if Steve Moore was still on the team you would have made it this year, right?

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 04/17/12 at 07:17 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Barry"I got the” Trotz has no right to speak in the matter anyways. He can’t see above the table.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 04/17/12 at 07:32 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Roy knows you couldn’t have one living in Detoilet.
Posted by BobInBoulder from Boulder on 04/17/12 at 04:26 PM ET

Statue of Liberty anyone?

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/17/12 at 08:27 PM ET

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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.