I’ve been looking at the October calendar and noting that Tyler Bertuzzi will miss 2 of the Red Wings’ next 5 October games due to his unvaccinated status. Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen turned the calendar to November, and, as it turns out, Bertuzzi will miss the Wings’ first game in November as well.
That adds up to missing 3 of the Wings’ next 6 games for Bertuzzi. It’s not hard to suggest that Bertuzzi has every right to decline vaccination, but, thanks to Canada’s travel ban for unvaccinated players, there’s also no doubt that Bertuzzi’s “personal decision” affects his ability to perform his job:
Next weekend, the Red Wings play in Toronto on Saturday and then in Montreal on Tuesday as part of a four-game road trip. GM Steve Yzerman is more likely to call up a player from Grand Rapids when Bertuzzi misses two games.
Presuming Bertuzzi will join the team in Boston on Wednesday, he will miss two practices in Montreal. When he takes the ice Thursday in Boston, he will not have played for six days.
Bertuzzi knows it’s important for the rebuilding Red Wings to have a strong start.
“Not just this start but look at the first 10-15-20 games,” Bertuzzi said. “Just play good hockey and try to have a winning record and just build from there. The chemistry is there and it’s going to continue to be there. If we can just keep playing the way we’re doing, playing a little bit smarter just keep doing it the right way, we’re gonna get some more wins.
It’s not as if the Red Wings aren’t used to playing without Bertuzzi. He only played nine games last season because of injury. But it is different when you know a teammate is sitting in his living room watching on TV when he could be playing
Continued; Bertuzzi’s forfeiting salary as well, a total of $450,000, for the sake of not “getting the jab,” and you can say a lot of things about his decision, but the word “selfish” rightly belongs in there, as Darren McCarty suggested.
Actions have consequences, and the Red Wings will have to learn to play without one of their most important, effective players over the next two weeks as a result. That’s the bottom line.