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Ducks Sign Todd Bertuzzi

Monday, 07.2.2007 / 5:30 PM PT / News
Anaheim Ducks
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Ducks Sign Todd Bertuzzi

The Ducks announced that they have signed right wing Todd Bertuzzi to a two-year contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

“Todd Bertuzzi is a hard-nosed, physical player and a proven goal-scorer,” said Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “Adding another imposing presence to our lineup with scoring touch is something we could not pass up.”

Bertuzzi, 32 (2/2/75), has played in 725 NHL games, scoring 226-314=540 points. The 6-3, 242-pound forward has scored 25-or-more goals on four occasions, including a career-high 46-51=97 points in 2002-2003. A two-time NHL All-Star and member of the Gold Medal-winning Canadian squad at the 2006 Winter Olympics, Bertuzzi spent the majority of his career with the Vancouver Canucks (1997-2006) before playing with Florida and Detroit last season.

In 2005-2006, Bertuzzi played all 82 games with Vancouver, scoring 25-46=71 points with 120 penalty minutes. He was traded to Florida with Bryan Allen and Alex Auld in exchange for Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and Florida’s sixth-round draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft on June 23, 2006. He missed the majority of last season with a back injury, playing in seven games with the Panthers (1-6=7 points) before being acquired by the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Shawn Matthias and two conditional draft picks on Feb. 27, 2007. He played eight regular season games with Detroit (2-2=4 points) and added 3-4=7 points in 16 playoff contests.

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Bertuzzi was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by Vancouver from the Islanders with Bryan McCabe and a third-round draft pick in the1998 Entry Draft in exchange for Trevor Linden on Feb. 6, 1998.  He was selected as a First Team All Star in 2003 and played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2003 and 2004.

Bertuzzi played for Burke in Vancouver from 1998 to 2004, including a 1992-93 season in which he scored 97 points.

Both Burke and Bertuzzi spoke to the media via conference call Tuesday evening. Following is a transcript:

Brian Burke
From Vancouver, British Columbia

This signing is something that was not planned and wasn’t something we anticipated. We got a call sometime yesterday, maybe this morning, from Pat Morris, who represents Todd Bertuzzi and said he would like to come to Anaheim. As I said in my pre-July 1 remarks, that was the only thing I thought would change our plan, which was to not do much.

If a player of that caliber wants to come to Anaheim, I better be interested. That’s my job. So, we started working on a deal. Bob Murray negotiated the deal with Pat Morris and I’m very pleased to announce that Todd Bertuzzi has agreed to terms with the Anaheim Ducks

He’s a guy who fits into our style of play. He’s a North American, physical guy who can play. He ads a big forward to our top six forwards. I’ve obviously been through some battles with Todd on my side and we had some great success in Vancouver. I’m excited to have a player of his caliber. It’s an important step for us.

I have talked to Todd and talked to his agent. Judging by his playoff performance, it was clear he was cleared to play. There aren’t too many players Todd’s age who don’t have some physical difficulty. But we’ve had some good success with players Todd’s age.

Is there a gamble involved? Of course there is. Is there risk taking a guy who missed a lot of last year? I’d say yes. Is there a risk taking a guy who hasn’t had a 100-point season in a few years? Yes. We had success in Vancouver when Todd was there, and I have confidence that he’ll do that again

Scotty’s situation changed yesterday. Everything changed yesterday when Scotty called. That’s when we scrambled. When he said he was leaning toward retirement, that gave me great cause for concern. When he talked to you guys, I think “strongly” was the adjective he used. It’s clearer which way he’s leaning more than Teemu. I spoke to Teemu not too long ago and it was not obvious which way he was leaning

If both players came back, we’d have to look at what we could do. You don’t have to be an MIT grad to do the math here. You’d have to be pretty creative. That’s plan C and I’m only on Plan B. If they’d want to come back, we’d love to have them. That hasn’t changed.

On whether the salary for Bertuzzi is too high,
I don’t think it is, in terms of him being the highest-paid forward on our team. He’s a several-time All-Star, 240 pounds. I know what this guy can do for a hockey team and I don’t think it’s too much to pay financially. The beauty of July 1 or 2 is you’re adding to your team without extending assets. You have whatever players you have under contract, whatever draft picks you have remaining and you have cash. When you add bodies, you have to expend assets over the normal course. When you can add a guy who can help your team and there are no assets to deal, just cash, you have to do that. I don’t think the salary is unrealistic at all. We were not the only team involved in this. He wanted to come here, but there were other teams calling his agent.

On the Steve Moore incident,

What happened that night changed a lot of things for a lot of people. Most people up here [in Vancouver] think it cost me my job. You could make an argument that I should want nothing to do with Todd Bertuzzi. I respect him. There was an error in judgment made that night. I can’t defend what he did, but I think his intentions and his motivation were to defend a teammate. I’m not condoning what happened. It was an error in judgment. It was a serious one, but an error in judgment. I’m big on second chances and giving people the opportunity to prove that it was a mistake. It was a lapse in judgment that lasted a long time. It might have happened in a second, but it’s lasted until this day.

I respect Todd and I’m very happy to go back to war with him again. I think our fans should welcome a guy who wanted desperately to come to Anaheim

Todd Bertuzzi

I just want to thank the Detroit Red Wings and Ken Holland, Scotty Bowman and Steve Yzerman and their whole staff. They’re a classy organization and I want to thank them

Right after it became apparent that nothing was going to be done with Detroit, I called my agent and asked if he could call Burkie and the Anaheim Ducks and see if there was any interest in acquiring me. Thankfully, there was the interest and here I am now.

It’s pretty special when you can get the defending Stanley Cup champions to find room to fit me in and to have the opportunity to play with Brian and this team.

You saw what an unbelievable rink it became during the playoffs. It’s an exciting time. It’s a fun place to play and I’m looking forward to it.

On the injuries that limited him last season,
Everyone goes through injuries and all that. We had the first surgery on my back done and it didn’t take. We had to go through two surgeries. In hindsight, was it too early to come back? I don’t know. I think having the opportunity to play in the playoffs with a team like Detroit excited me and probably made me push it a little too hard to get back. It wasn’t the back that was the problem. I had a couple of injuries that were not disclosed at all and those were the things that held me back against San Jose and in the Anaheim series. The back was fine. I just had a handful of other things happen. I don’t envision any of that being a problem come training camp.

What you see is what you’re going to get with me. I haven’t changed one bit. I’ve had some unfortunate things happen. I had a 72-point season a couple of years ago and lot of people considered that a bad year. You still have to go out and perform and show your worth.

On Burke,
Obviously playing under Brian and knowing him and what he’s done for me and the kind of relationship I have with him, he’s the kind of guy you want to go to war with and play hard for every night. He runs an organization second to none, always classy and always done right. He’s very family-oriented, which is what I’m all about. My family couldn’t be coming to a better spot knowing that Brian and his family are there. He always instilled the confidence in me when I was in Vancouver and maybe had a couple of bad games. He’d come down and give me a pep talk and get me going again. He’s the kind of guy you love to play for. I was fortunate to be with him in Vancouver and fortunate to be with him in Anaheim now.

I’m still passionate about the game and I still want to play the game. Being able to come to an organization like Anaheim gives you a shot in the arm and excites you even more. I’m looking forward to coming in and being part of the puzzle and finding a way to be successful. I’m a guy they can count on offensively and to be a leader. I’m just coming in to fit into their program and get my game back to where I know it can be and should be.




1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50


R. Getzlaf 50 6 36 10 42
C. Perry 54 21 17 -4 38
R. Rakell 51 13 15 -3 28
R. Kesler 54 11 16 -7 27
S. Vatanen 54 6 20 0 26
J. Silfverberg 54 7 12 -1 19
C. Stewart 47 8 10 2 18
A. Cogliano 54 6 11 -9 17
H. Lindholm 53 6 8 -7 14
C. Fowler 41 3 11 -8 14
F. Andersen 12 8 6 .919 2.30
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.11

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