Deja Bertuzzi

So Todd Bertuzzi is back with the Wings.

I understand the attraction to Bertuzzi. He’s big. He once had great hands. In a lot of ways, he’s the North American version of the prototypical Detroit forward. But to be more precise, he was the North American version of the prototypical Detroit forward. He’s six-years removed from his huge 46-goal season in Vancouver. He’s three years removed from his last 20-goal season. And most alarmingly of all, he finished last season for the Flames a -13.

Detroit probably doesn’t want to hear this, but the only way Bertuzzi isn’t going to be a huge bust is if he reinvents himself as a defensive forward, something Detroit doesn’t make a lot of use of.

I’ve watched a fair amount of Bertuzzi since he left Vancouver, expecting, like so many other people, that Bertuzzi would one day return to his Vancouver glory days form. I’ve yet to see it happen. Not in Florida, not in Detroit, and not in Calgary. He has trouble getting down low. His shot has lost something. He’s simply not the same player, either due to age or lower-back surgery.

I think the Wings see Bertuzzi sliding in to replace Mikael Samuelsson (and his 19 goals). I don’t think that’s any kind of a given.