Dear Free Press: No Thank You

George Sipple of the Free Press seems to think that signing a few former Wings like Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams could help fill in the gaps. I disagree.

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Jason Williams

I’ll be the first to admit that I did like Williams when he played for Detroit. He was clutch in shootouts and a good right-handed shot, something we have in short supply. Though he was a defensive liability and therefore would not be a good replacement on the point for the second powerplay unit. We traded him to Chicago for Kyle Calder at the deadline in 2007. Calder became a healthy scratch in the play-offs and signed with L.A. after becoming a free agent on July 1st of that same year. So basically, we gave Williams up for nothing.

One would think that Kenny saw something in him that he didn’t like, or at least, thought was expendable…otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten rid of him in the first place. If Williams realizes that he was a product of the Detroit system and takes a fair salary to come back, I would be amenable to having him back as a third liner…but no better.

Numbers as a Red Wing (regular season): 233 GP 49 G 67 A 116 Pts

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Todd Bertuzzi

This is a much simpler case. No. Bertuzzi was a monster from 2000 until the Steve Moore incident. As I said in one of my first posts ever (before this officially became the N.O.H.S.), the Steve Moore incident destroyed more than Steve Moore’s neck, it destroyed three NHL careers (Moore, Bertuzzi, Naslund). Never has Bertuzzi even sniffed the 46 tallies he got in 2002-2003. As a Red Wing, he was lackluster in the short run in the regular season, and highly ineffective in the play-offs.

And anyone who would jump ship for the Anaheim Ducks, in my book, is no longer welcome (yes, that means you too, Schneider). If you want a 6’3+ 230 lbs forward, you’d be better served going after Taylor Pyatt, who still might actually get better with time.

Numbers as a Red Wing (regular season): 8 GP 2 G 2 A 4 Pts

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I think it’s time to get some fresh meat in this line-up. Whether that means bringing up more kids from G.R. or making moves after we appease the NHL by going through Hudler’s arbitration hearing tomorrow remains to be seen.
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