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Detroit Assigns Bertuzzi to Grand Rapids Because We Can’t Have Nice Things

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Detroit Red Wings Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Bertuzzi has been assigned to Grand Rapids. Here is the press release:


… Third-Year Pro Made Red Wings Season Debut on Saturday Versus St. Louis …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned left wing Tyler Bertuzzi to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Bertuzzi made his Red Wings season debut on Saturday vs. St. Louis, logging 9:13 time on ice and one shot on goal in his eighth career NHL game. The 22-year old made his NHL debut during the 2016-17 campaign over a seven-game stint, playing his first game on Nov. 8, 2016 at Philadelphia. Bertuzzi missed the beginning of the 2017-18 season due to injury but has returned to post nine points (5-4-9) and 22 penalty minutes in 12 games with the Griffins. The third-year pro was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy in 2017 as the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs’ most-valuable player after producing 19 points (9-10-19) in 19 postseason games en route to helping Grand Rapids capture its second championship in five seasons. Bertuzzi also finished ninth on the team in points during the regular season despite being limited to 48 games with 37 points (12-25-37).

Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the second round (58th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Sudbury, Ontario, native has played parts of four seasons for the Griffins and has registered 77 points (30-47-77) and 192 penalty minutes in 133 regular-season games in addition to 39 points (23-16-39) and 68 penalty minutes in 42 postseason games. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to his professional career, notching 172 points (72-100-172) and 325 penalty minutes in 201 games for the Guelph Storm from 2011-15. He was an OHL champion in 2014 following 17 points (10-7-17) in 18 postseason games and was named to the 2015 OHL Second All-Star Team after picking up 98 points (43-55-98) in 68 games during his final major-junior season.

So Tyler Bertuzzi has been assigned to Grand Rapids because now Luke Witkwoski is back. If that makes no sense to you, consider that two of us.

Luke Witkowski and David Booth have zero chance of being components of a good Detroit team in the next few years. Tyler Bertuzzi, although obviously not a core piece, could be.

It’s not hard.

This team is not making the playoffs this year. So let Bertuzzi play. And let Hicketts play. They’re going to make mistakes. But they have the ability to learn from them and potentially develop into players that can help the team.

Unlike Witkowski. And Booth. Yes, the latter’s two goals were nice a little while back, but he’s just a veteran placeholder.

This move tells me, yet again, that the current brain trust of this organization does not get it and needs to be replaced.

No, Bertuzzi is not the next big thing, but he could be a supporting part of the next competing team. But instead of getting NHL reps, he’ll be riding the bus in Grand Rapids.