Wednesday, August 19, 2009



The Red Wings made another move Tuesday to bolster their offense and put themselves over the NHL’s salary cap in the process.
The Wings signed free-agent forward Todd Bertuzzi to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Bertuzzi, 34, had 15 goals and 29 assists in 66 games last season with the Calgary Flames. He also had a minus-13 rating.

With the off-season defection of three key players — Marian Hossa (40 goals), Jiri Hudler (23) and Mikael Samuelsson (19) — the Wings lost 82 of their 295 goals — or 28% — from last season. They have added free-agent forwards Jason Williams (19 goals), Patrick Eaves (six) and Bertuzzi (15) and expect increased production from Ville Leino, Darren Helm and, possibly, Justin Abdelkader.

“We lost almost 90 goals,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I read or hear people picking us to be about fourth in the Western Conference.

“Even though a lot of teams have gotten better, I still think we’re a Stanley Cup contender because our defense is as good as anyone’s defense and I like the rest of our team.”

Bertuzzi, who likes to throw around his 6-foot-3, 230-pound body, has changed teams five times since 2006, in part because he has battled back, knee, leg and head injuries. Holland said Bertuzzi’s back problems appeared to be in his past and the team’s medical staff was impressed with his conditioning during a physical.

Bertuzzi played in eight regular-season games and 16 playoff games for Detroit in 2006-07 after he was acquired from Florida.

The Wings wanted to re-sign him and offered a one-year deal in the $3 million range. He took a two-year deal at $4 million per with the Ducks. The Ducks bought out his contract after a 14-goal season, and he signed a one-year, $1.95-million deal with the Flames.

Bertuzzi’s addition puts the Wings’ payroll for next season at $58 million, about $1.2 million above the cap. That can be solved pretty much, for starters, by sending Abdelkader and his $850,000 salary to Grand Rapids of the AHL or putting defenseman Andreas Lilja ($1.2 million) on injured reserve; he has been dealing with the effects of a concussion since February.

Bertuzzi, a 13-year veteran, had his best season in 2002-03, when he had 46 goals and 51 assists.

For most fans, though, Bertuzzi is best-known for his vicious hit on Colorado’s Steve Moore in March 2004. Moore, who suffered three fractured neck vertebrae, facial cuts and a severe concussion, never played hockey again. Bertuzzi, a Canuck at the time, was suspended for the final 13 games of the 2003-04 season and the playoffs. He also faced assault charges for the incident. He pleaded guilty and received a conditional discharge, meaning no jail time or criminal record.


  1. He will be more effective than Homer, Draper, and Maltby. Our loyalty to those 3 may have cost us the Cup. Abby was scratched so Malts could float around and Hudler sat on the bench watching Homer go offside with Pav and Hossa. Sad

  2. I agree also, the Geritol line was the nail in the coffin as the Wings decided to leave the much younger guys watch while those 3 guys faultered, made ZERO sense!!!

  3. I am the Wings fan but I dont like the guy. he's a gunnie

  4. We need Bertuzzi
    To leave other guys woozy.