Thursday, September 27, 2007

Being Bertuzzi

"All Todd Bertuzzi has done is he's come in here and worked his butt off and has been a true professional. He has been everything that you'd ask. He has been no distraction whatsoever."
The articles are starting to come fast and furious from London, and this one's courtesy of Toronto Sun veteran Al Strachan, now a freelancer with the Fox Sports empire. The interesting thing about the coverage so far is that, with the time zone difference, all of the best material is coming out about midafternoon here.

But I digress.

Todd Bertuzzi's going to be a popular guy through this opening series, but likely not so much once he gets back to Orange County. They've got some nice local coverage out that way, sure, but hockey's spotlight? It doesn't get to Anaheim too often.

For now, he's a focal point:
"There are naysayers about our team and there are naysayers about him and what he's got left in the tank," Pronger said. "It's a way for him to ... show people what he's still got left, to be the type of player he can still be.

"I know guys are excited to have him on the team. We heard nothing but great things about him when he played in Detroit last year. Reputations follow people around a long time, that's why people deserve second chances."
This certainly is Bertuzzi's. This may also be the only one he gets, given his go in Florida/Detroit was injury-riddled and unproductive.

Bertuzzi's 32-years-old and seems to have mellowed, especially in the penalty minute department, where he only had 19 in 15 games last season. In Vancouver, he was a league-leader in minor penalties, a huge liability — and especially in the later years — but if he can stay healthy, stay out of the box and pot 25 goals and 60 points in Anaheim, they get their money's worth.

If he doesn't? That leaves the Ducks in a bad spot given their lack of forward depth.

A lot's riding on Bertuzzi, and I frankly don't have a clue if he'll make good.

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At 3:16 p.m., September 27, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

James, any word yet on when the Bertuzzi v. Moore civil trial might start in the Ontario courts.

I read that attorneys for both sides were in the discovery stage this summer, gathering facts, interviewing witnesses and taking affidavits.

If this trial starts up in the spring of 2008 it could certainly be distracting to Bertuzzi and the Ducks in general. However, I suspect Bertuzzi and others will write a cheque just before the start of the trial to settle it.

At 4:44 p.m., September 28, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I disagree that Bertuzzi needs to stay out of the box. If he's going to be effective, Bertuzzi has to be taking penalties. They are a part of his game. If you don't think that the value he provides is worth the penalties that he takes, then don't sign him. A penalty-free Bertuzzi is going to be worthless.

That isn't to say that taking penalties is all that he needs to do. It's perfectly possible for him to take lots of dumb penalties and give you nothing of value. Being aggressive is a necessary part of his game when he's on, though, and that is going to lead to time in the box.

At 4:49 p.m., September 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Couldn't disagree more. Taking penalties and playing aggressive aren't the same thing, especially for Bertuzzi, whose penalties generally consist of him hooking someone away from the play for no good reason.

They're not, generally, from hard-fought battles for the puck in front of the net. He hasn't played like that for four, five years now.


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