Todd Bertuzzi hasn't played since November, but one NHL team is taking a chance on the veteran forward.
The Detroit Red Wings acquired Bertuzzi from
Florida just before Tuesday's NHL trading deadline, adding the
tough forward they wanted for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"Bertuzzi is a huge, talented man that adds the dimensions of
size and skill that we need on one of our top two lines," Detroit
coach Mike Babcock told The Associated Press. "We'll give up a
first-round pick if there are a lot of conditions met, such as us
winning a lot in the playoffs and him helping us do that. We'd be
happy to give up that pick."
The Panthers acquired forward Shawn Matthias and up to two
conditional draft picks in the deal. If Bertuzzi signs with Detroit
when he becomes a free agent after the season, the Red Wings will
part with one pick this year and another next year.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Bertuzzi hasn't played since he had
lower back surgery in November -- after being sidelined for more
than two weeks by a herniated disc. He has a goal and six assists
in seven games after being acquired last summer in a trade that
sent top goalie Roberto Luongo to Vancouver.
While playing for the Canucks in March 2004, Bertuzzi
sucker-punched Colorado's Steve Moore in the head in one of
hockey's ugliest episodes. He served a 17-month suspension.
"Our focus all along was to be a harder team to play against,
and both Bertuzzi and Calder will help us do that," Babcock said.
"There are no guarantees, but the front office led by Kenny
Holland and Jim Nill has given us a better opportunity to be
The Associated Press contributed to this report.