HEIGHT: 6′ 3″
CAP HIT: $2,075,000
STATS: 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) / 59 games played
The Detroit Red Wings signed Todd Bertuzzi to a two-year contract extension during the 2011-12 season after two straight seasons with over fourty points; he ended the 2011-12 season with thirty-eight.
Unfortunately, the contract extension did not work out well for the Detroit Red Wings as injuries kept Todd Bertuzzi off the ice, in the shortened 2012-13 season, for all but seven regular season games and six playoff games.
His second year of the contract extension went better for him and the Wings; his skating was smoother and he was more physical, but he was only able to produce sixteen points in fifty-nine games.
Bertuzzi only spent eight games on off the ice due to injuries, but spent another fifteen games as a healthy scratch because the call-ups from Grand Rapids and current Red Wings leapfrogged the aging veteran.
With his contract extension up, Todd Bertuzzi is most likely heading for free agency, but has stated that he would like to stay in Detroit to the Detroit Free Press.
“Playing and living in Detroit, it’s been a great place to raise a family, a great place for kids to play sports, and a great place to play in front of fans, who’ve been awesome to me,” Bertuzzi said.
Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk have developed a strange chemistry, which seems to bring out the best in both players, but the Red Wings have been grooming Justin Abdelkader to take over that role on the top line next to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
Todd Beruzzi could fill a role like Chris Chelios did in his last couple years in Detroit, where he is a mentor and fill in play if someone becomes injured.
And let us not forget the moment during HBO’s 24/7: The Road to the Winter Classic, where he drank a Corona.
Unless the Red Wings use their second compliance buyout or make a trade there will not be room to re-sign Bertuzzi and his age is certainly working against him as the Red Wings seem to be working on getting the younger players to step up and become a bigger part of the team.
I expect to see Todd Bertuzzi in the NHL next season, but it will most likely be in a uniform that does not include a winged wheel.