Home > Central Division, NHL > Todd Bertuzzi in Detroit for Two More Years

Todd Bertuzzi in Detroit for Two More Years

After two signings that had Wings fans rejoicing (Lidstrom and Holmstrom), the Wings announced a contract that has been met with mixed feelings.  Todd Bertuzzi will be back in the Winged Wheel for two more seasons.

He’ll have a cap hit of $1.9 million, which I found surprising.  I suspected he’d be back, but I didn’t see him getting a raise.  Aside from the hot streak he went on in late November and early December this past season, he didn’t really do a whole lot for the team.

Reactions from Wings fans have ranged from disappointment at his cap hit to grudging acceptance of the fact that it’s not a bad number for a guy who is expected to score a minimum of 15 goals.  I’ve personally never been a Bertuzzi fan and had been hoping he’d end up somewhere else next season.  Objectively speaking, $1.9 million isn’t bad for a guy who can still contribute to the team’s offense, and in all fairness, he did do way more backchecking and defensive play than I expected this season.  However, Bertuzzi also brings a knack for taking dumb penalties (real or imagined) at the worst possible times.  A decent portion of them are “reputation calls” that occur when an opponent happens to fall within 10 feet of Bertuzzi, but he takes his fair share of lazy interference penalties as well.  His tendency to put the Wings on the PK all too often concerns me.

On the other hand, there aren’t many free agent forwards out there who the Wings can afford thanks to Gary’s salary cap (We’re not big fans of the cap in Hockeytown).  Bert did appear to buy into the Wings’ system last season, and it’s always good to return players who know the routine for the sake of consistency.  I could do without the turnovers and spin-o-ramas that he now appears to specialize in, but I don’t think this is an entirely bad deal.  I just wish his salary would’ve stayed where it was to leave some more room for other signings.  For more insight about Wings fans’ feelings about Bertuzzi, I recommend heading over to The Production Line. They’ve been the leaders of the Con-Tuzzi brigade since the beginning and gave us Man-Tuzzi and She-Tuzzi.

If nothing else, this signing guarantees us a scapegoat and target of derision for a couple of years.  Jonathan Ericsson is probably breathing a sigh of relief somewhere.

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