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The Talk Around Tyler Bertuzzi And It Just Wasn’t Hockey For Andrew Copp

via Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,

Speculation swirled a year ago before, during and after the Detroit Red Wings re-signed Tyler Bertuzzi to a two-year, $9.5M extension this day a year ago. Even after signing, rumors of where the team and Bertuzzi really stood continued to swirl. Some of that involved his vaccination status. Some of it includes the value he is holding that could be useful in acquiring other pieces in the midst of a rebuild.

Bertuzzi simply scored 30 goals and posted 62 points in 68 games, giving the team a nice return on their investment. What happens a year from now?

Bertuzzi is well liked within the Red Wings Locker Room

He’s been called a “little hillbilly goofball” by Oskar Sundqvist. Bertuzzi seems to be the one fetching the puck after a teammate’s milestone. Even former head coach Jeff Blashill was a big fan of what Bertuzzi brought to Detroit. Though he had a stellar year, questions still swirl about whether Bertuzzi will still be a Red Wing a year from now.

from Mick McCabe at the Detroit Free Press,

For Andrew Copp, his first potential roadblock in his sporting life came in soccer.

“I had a soccer coach tell me I should quit hockey and concentrate on soccer,” Copp recalled. “Not that I should, but I had to if I wanted to play on his team.”

At the time, Copp was all of 9 years old.

What is wrong with some of these coaches? That is a rhetorical question because we know that there are oh-so-many youth coaches and trainers who believe the world revolves around their sport and every other activity is a complete waste of time.

Thankfully, Copp has two rational parents — Andy and Anne. They wanted him to experience as many sports as possible and the same for his younger brother, Tyler, who is now a professional golfer.

So the thought of giving up hockey was unimaginable to Copp.


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Bertuzzi is an important piece to the team and much needed due to us having an overabundance of softies.

Anyone who thought/thinks he is/was being traded is confused and misguided and it’s strictly related to his vaccination status which is now irrelevant as the rest of the world continues to move on.

Posted by retrospecd on 07/31/22 at 12:32 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Anyone who thought/thinks he is/was being traded is confused and misguided and it’s strictly related to his vaccination status which is now irrelevant as the rest of the world continues to move on.

Posted by retrospecd on 07/31/22 at 12:32 PM ET

My view on the potential for trading Bertuzzi had nothing to do with his vaccination status, rather him being an upcoming UFA, committing 6-8 years, and how that fits into an unknown timeline or window in which Yzerman was building his roster to, against the return he would garner. 

Based on the free agent signings this year, its seem to me its far less likely he’s moved, but we also don’t know how far apart the two are in his contract extension negotiations on a longer term deal.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 07/31/22 at 03:04 PM ET


I wouldn’t give Tuzzi anything that keeps him around past 33. Love him to death, but his style of play is torture on his body. Business first.

Posted by Probie4Prez on 07/31/22 at 03:49 PM ET


He’s a good player. He makes the team better when he’s in the lineup. But unless something has changed or does change, he can’t play in Canada. If he’s not in the lineup for any of the regular season games in Canada, or the Wings somehow make it into the playoffs and they have to play a Canadian team, it makes no difference if he’s better than Howe, Yzerman, and Gretzky combined. He can’t help his team compete or win if he’s not in the lineup. As McCarty said about Bert last season, “there’s no ‘I’ in team”. He’s the only player not vaccinated. I don’t see any of the vaccinated players growing tails or haing any other issues from getting vaccinated. Pretty sure Mo won the Calder while fully vaccinated. To continue to refuse to get vaccinated for his team is selfish. I’d trade him for that reason alone.

Posted by Howdy-Gordie on 07/31/22 at 04:06 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by retrospecd on 07/31/22 at 12:32 PM ET

Absolutely false.

His vaccination status was the smallest piece of the puzzle on why he would be traded.

I’ve covered this before in-depth:
1) age (and his prime years) vs rebuild competitive time-line
2) injury risk—-which includes both his style of play and past injuries
3) re-sign-ability and contract battle history
4) current trade value
5) the Wings overabundance with top 4 wingers (Raymond, Vrana, Perron, Fabbri, Rasmussen—not a centre, Zadina, and eventually Copp and Berggren). That’s 4 lines worth of wingers before you even get to more recent draft picks.

If anything has changed the #3 item on the list has moved up in importance especially with potential salary cap tagging issues that could come up Dec 1st and ‘lil Bert’s trade value diminishing to that of strictly a rental to a suitor thereafter.

Posted by d ca on 07/31/22 at 04:14 PM ET

Chet's avatar

I’d move him assuming the return was right. Let him go to Florida or Arizona with the other anti vaxxers.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/31/22 at 05:09 PM ET


You all get that vaccines don’t stop getting or
passing Covid, right? That’s clearly not been the case for quite a few months now.

All they do is reduce risk and severity among older
and other more vulnerable cohorts. Overall, mandates have hurt
more than they’ve helped.

I sure got vaccinated as soon as I could and same with a
booster last Fall. But vaccines are not a matter of helping to protect
the health and safety of others. And for young, fit, healthy athletes of
all people, it’s not clear vaccines are of much if any benefit when it comes
to the newer extremely contagious but much less severe variants.

As for Canada, when you have a PM who has outed himself as a ruthless
authoritarian who giddily delights in things like financially immiserating
people of limited means who gave a few bucks to support an at the time entirely legal protest - when’s that’s all it takes for Big Brother to freeze your checking account, I guess all bets are off in terms of what insanity the foppish boy king will try next. So I guess the irrationality of policy in Canada around Covid could be an issue.

But let’s stop pretending that Covid itself requires young, healthy athletes to get vaccinated for their or anyone’s safety.

Go back and check my comments from two years ago
if anyone thinks I’m remotely anti-vaxx. I’m also done with this
topic. I thought we pretty much all were.

As for the other variables, I think it was much more likely
Bert would’ve been moved if SY and mgmt judged that the
rebuild needed to be extended and their only real chance
was aiming for the highest picks. Since they went so decisively in the opposite
direction, I see Bert fitting pretty well with the core of young veterans.
He’s a playoff type player. Trade him and you’re immediately looking for the closest replacement you can find. None of that means SY won’t trade him if the right deal comes along or if Bert’s camp has a crazy ask. I do think the idea is to hopefully sell the core on maybe taking a little less than the max on the open market in order to stay together and win together - like in Tampa. Not saying it’s not tricky. Sooner or later Bert is going to want to get paid in term or salary. I can see each side having some differences. But if this is a core locker room guy and glue player who can put up thirty goals completing either top line, that’s a player you win with. Competitive, hard to play against, has got his teammates’ backs, will do anything on the ice to win. Unless there’s a personal issue beyond the vaccine stuff, I don’t see anything selfish about this player.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/31/22 at 07:29 PM ET

Chet's avatar

But he doesn’t have his teammates’ backs and there’s one really easy thing he could’ve done to help this team win more games. We all know what it is. I don’t even care about the vax debate or the politics of it; that’s not for this space and we’ve all been over it. He made a selfish decision, and as a result, I wouldn’t keep him around. Reasonable people can disagree on this.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/31/22 at 10:36 PM ET

Chet's avatar

(I also think his UFA demand is going to astronomical and they should move on from him while his value is high.)

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/31/22 at 10:40 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/31/22 at 07:29 PM ET

Giving a lengthy term contract to ‘lil Bert given his injury risk (his injury history + more importantly his style of play) is a disaster waiting to happen.

Corey Perry was at one time a dominant player—better than ‘lil Bert—-and the Anaheim Ducks paid him and subsequently had to buy out his contract of the former 50 goal scorer. That was 3 seasons ago and the Ducks still have another 2M to pay off this coming season.

Example 2) Jamie Benn signed an extension after a 40 goal season—last year he sat at 18 will make 9.5M on the cap for the next 3 years.

SY has been very careful about handing out long-term contracts. He’s also not been afraid to move along from fan favorites (see: Lecavalier or St Louis). Just because ‘lil Bert is here now doesn’t mean he’s staying. If anything Mantha taught all Wings fan this lesson.



Posted by d ca on 07/31/22 at 11:02 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/31/22 at 07:29 PM ET

Pretty much nailed it on all counts. Well done.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/31/22 at 11:27 PM ET

mattimeo's avatar

100% Lefty.30
Arrivecan app is under review by the privacy commissioner. Hopefully that and the ridiculous border mandates end soon.

Posted by mattimeo on 08/01/22 at 08:31 AM ET


here’s one really easy thing he could’ve done to help this team

I will never understand this logic. I will not go into vaccine debate, but no, this is not an easy thing, in a free society a person cannot be forced to put a drug into his/her body.
Previous negotiations with Bert’s agent were tense, I assume this one will be even more tense. The risk of injury based on previous injury history and his style of play and age vs his value to the team and vs the return in a trade is what will determine Bert future with Detroit.
I would go with 6 years at $7 mil, because less than that is unrealistic and I believe Bert will be effective at least fort 75% of that contract.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/01/22 at 10:42 AM ET


Parting ways with Bert now seems very unlikely, as we finally have a 2C, amongst other new adds, making us significantly more competitive. Turning away from Bert more than likely opens a hole that didn’t need to be created, and is the hardest one to plug….

Posted by pnwwing on 08/01/22 at 10:52 AM 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

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