He's no longer the scoring threat he was and he'll never fully shake the infamy of the Steve Moore sucker punch, but Todd Bertuzzi is still a valuable NHL player. Or why else would the Detroit Red Wings sign the 37-year-old to a two-year extension?
The Wings announced on Wed. Feb. 22 that they'd signed the big winger through the 2013-14 season at $2.2 million per, a decent sum for a guy that now gets 45 points (last year) instead of 97 (2002-03 with the Vancouver Canucks). Bertuzzi is on record as saying he loves playing in Detroit, Mike Babcock and his coaching staff and the atmosphere surrounding the team two big reasons he wanted to stay.
Bertuzzi: hit 1,000 game mark in NHL
Bertuzzi's career is forever marred by the hit to Moore but he's worked hard to stay a valuable player. This is his second stint with the Red Wings - the first was brief - and his third full season there. To date in 2011-12 he has 12 goals for 29 points and is an impressive plus 21, already tying his career high.
The 6'3", 230 pound winger has never won the Stanley Cup. He was with the Red Wings for the first time when Anaheim knocked them out of the playoffs and went on to win the Cup in 2006-07, and with Anaheim when Detroit knocked them out and went on to win in 2007-08. Besides the Wings, Ducks and Canucks he has also played with the New York Islanders, the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames and for Canada at the 2006 Olympics.
In 1,076 NHL games, the former 1st round, 23rd overall pick in 1993, has 301 goals, 441 assists for 742 points; he's got 14 goals and 42 points in 75 playoff games. He also has 1,426 penalty minutes.
Todd Bertuzzi vs. Steve Moore: in court
The Moore punch came March 8, 2004. In retaliation for a Moore cheap shot to Markus Naslund's head the week before - Moore went unsuspended - Bertuzzi hit him, glove on, from behind. Seemingly unaware Moore had been knocked out and thinking he'd turtled, he jumped on the prone player and caused further damage. Moore never returned to the game.
The lawsuit Moore has filed against Bertuzzi and the Canucks - Moore is seeking 38 million dollars in damages - finally goes to court on September 24 of this year.