The Detroit Red Wings have officially announced they’ve re-upped with Todd Bertuzzi on a two-year deal worth $2.25 million per season.
The contract represents a slight raise for the 37-year-old RW — his last deal was also of the two-year variety but for $1.94 million annually — which, given Bertuzzi’s production over the last two years, was one of the league’s better value contracts.
Bertuzzi played in all but one game last year for Detroit, scoring 16G-29A-45PTS while playing just under 16 minutes a night. He’s been equally effective this year despite missing seven games with a back injury and sinus infection, playing on the Wings’ top line alongside Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk (though, with Datsyuk out of the lineup, it’s currently being centered by Henrik Zetterberg.) Bertuzzi currently boasts a plus-21 rating, matchinghis career high set twice with Vancouver.
Now, for the rub.
As much as this deal rewards Bertuzzi’s on-ice performance, the real (and obvious) intrigue surrounding this deal will be off the ice — it means Bertuzzi will be a Red Wing when his civil case with former NHLer Steve Moore goes to trial later this fall. The target date for the Ontario Superior Court trial to begin is Sept. 24, and it promises to be a dramatic affair featuring several prominent NHL executives including Marc Crawford, Brian Burke and Colin Campbell.