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Todd Bertuzzi: My Two Cents

Plotting how he’s going to sneak up behind you and try to end your life…

Well it just got real. And since everyone will be throwing their hat into the ring and giving their opinion about what’s about to transpire, I figured I’d get this out of the way.

After spending the weekend pretending not to hear the Jim Devellano-fueled rumors that the Wings were on the verge of signing Todd Bertuzzi, it became impossible to ignore Monday night – as Twitter nearly caught fire with the news that the Red Wings have an offer on the table of one year and $1.5M.

That news was confirmed by MLive, which quoted Ken Holland as saying: “we’re talking to him.”

Aside from the obvious reasons why this is not at all a good fit (namely, putting the Wings over the salary cap, until Lilja goes onto LTIR or some salary is moved), I have deep, deep reservations about this. And while I trust Ken Holland in all things hockey, I will lose a great deal of respect for him if this comes to pass.

I found it very difficult to root for the Red Wings during Bertuzzi’s brief stint with the Wings in 06-07. And it makes me ill to think that an encore is coming.

Malik at Snapshots has this to say:

He’s not the same player or person that he was before he hit Moore, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s grown up, and as far as I’m concerned, shown some remorse. Given that he’s going to pay a significant chunk of his accumulated NHL earnings to Moore sometime over the next few years, I’m willing to leave that issue at the locker room door.

I am not. I don’t give a damn if he spends every second that he’s not on the ice reading to blind, terminally ill children. I am not willing to look past the fact that he’s a third rate thug who should be behind bars – a man that shat the bed in his first go-around with the Red Wings – a man that can hardly stand up on skates – a man that bolted for the exit at the sight of a few more dollars.

Every single one of these factors are contrary to what the Red Wings stand for – and have stood for in the past two decades. They are – despite what you might hear through Penguins fans’ tears – a classy organization that treats their players right, treats their fans with great respect, and is very proud of their history.

Signing Todd Bertuzzi would be akin to throwing that ideology out the window. And to all these so-called Wings fans who insist on the team becoming “tougher” and whining that Holland didn’t do anything to add to the “grit” of the team, the same fans that have been calling for Bertuzzi’s return… please yank your head of your behind: it’s hard to see the real world from there.

Feel free to come back to this article and laugh in my face if Todd Bertuzzi scores the game winning goal of Game 7 to reclaim the Stanley Cup.

Likewise – and infinitely more likely, I might add – I will take great, great pleasure in grabbing a bullhorn and shouting “I told you so” as soon as this blows up in all of our faces.

And it will.

Photo Credit: Richard Lam, Canadian Press