Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ducks sign Bertuzzi to reinforce "Thug" stereotype

Well, if any of you Duck fans were wondering who was going to replace Brad May's suckerpunch abilities, your wait is over!

In a move that has been constantly predicted since Brian Burke took over the GM position two years ago, the Ducks signed UFA winger Todd Bertuzzi to a two-year, $8 M deal today. This of course is the 2nd straight free agent plucked from last year's Red Wings, and the 2nd straight instance where the Ducks replaced a player before they officially announced retirement.

OK, hockey-wise I am comfortable with these pick-ups; I like both players' on-ice abilities, but health is certainly going to be a factor. Contract-wise the terms are short enough but the dollars are high, which is manageable if Scott Niedermayer or Teemu Selanne decide to retire, or even moreso should both.

And that's the thing that nags me a bit—the Ducks are pro-actively solving problems that are as of yet unclear. I'm not sure how these signings will affect the decision-making of Scotty or Teemu; how will they react to being pre-emptively replaced? It certainly looks as if they are less needed than they were two days ago, and it's almost to a point where the decision to not retire creates problems. I suppose the irony is that Bertuzzi might end Selanne's career without even throwing a punch.

Speaking of which: Image-wise, if the Ducks had a problem battling a "thug" label in these past playoffs, Burke probably just exacerbated it. Now it'll be "thugs and more thugs", with Pronger and Bertuzzi generating boos across the western continent. And should either Teemu or Scotty retire, well, let's just say that's one less face of diplomacy in a Duck uniform.

Clearer thoughts to come in the next few days...

In the meantime, if you know anyone from Edmonton tomorrow who needs a good kick in the teeth, make sure to wish them a Happy Pronger Day tomorrow!

15 comments:

mindless said...

Bert's a brooding force of PMS proportions. wouldn't it be simply magical if May re-signs so he and Bert would have a chance to recreate some of the magic of yesteryear? May was the one who stuck up for him after the Moore incident, after all. thugs need other thugs to have their backs. think of all the beautiful sucker punches and suspensions we could get in the playoffs next season!

who else is rooting for us to get Boogaard? might as well go all the way with it...

Patty (in Dallas) said...

Personally, I never really thought of the Ducks as generally thuggish. Just the two thugs, Pronger and May. But now I probably will. Even if May is gone.

I thought Bertuzzi would be replacing May, didn't occur to me he'd be covering for Selanne.

Zanstorm said...

HA! I knew you'd make a May-Bertuzzi comment.
I don't like Bert. Never have. He's a floater out there and I don't get Burke's love affair with him. The Ducks were better off without him.

If Selanne returns, Burke could always move Bert, no?? Get some draft picks?

John said...

Be sure and differentiate between a thug and a pest. Brad May was never a thug, you wouldn't call Kunitz or Perry thugs (but they got their shots in). Would you call Parros a thug - I wouldn't. Pronger throws some shots out there and Bertuzzi has the one unfortunate incident, but I wouldn't say he's a Claude Lemieux.

dbushik said...

So what, now I have to watch what smack I talk on the Quacks or risk Earl going nuts and breaking my neck?

Much like the cobra or some butterflys do, opposing players could just paint fake eyespots on the back sides of their helmets to confuse Todd and keep him from attacking from behind.

Truely though, Burke is a fantastic GM. One might even say incorrigible. He kind of reminds me of Bobby Clarke. Both guys clearly know what they want their team to be and aren't affraid to whatever it takes to get there. Clarke always got an endless stream of negativity pointed his way, but I kind of felt was due to his willingness to lie to the media outright. Frankly, if it's in the teams best interest, I'd want my GM lying. Maybes that's just me...

With the drastic way he's shaped the Ducks, I kind of wonder how much more freedom he has here as opposed to VAN. Has had tons of help from his predecessor, and tons of help from luck with guys developing at the oppertune moment, but can't say he's not a damn fine GM.

Only thing that strikes me as odd about the UFA signnings is I wonder if going after Rafalski would have been a better move than Schneider.

Very happy about Neids. Happy to be the first to congratulate him.

Doogie said...

Ah, Pronger Day. Seems like only yesterday, really. My comments from one year ago:

I just can't stand the thought that my Oilers just handed the Ducks the Stanley Cup -- and perhaps more than one. [...] I have a hard time believing there's a Western Conference team not shitting themselves over this.

Oh, look. I'm a prophet.

Earl Sleek said...

Well, I guess they don't have to replace Brad May's suckerpunching after all.

Mike said...

Honestly Sleek, your team is quite the cast of characters now. If Bertuzzi can (we Canuck fans are fond of saying this) "find his game" again then $4 million a season for him is a steal. If he does his moody, lazy penalty thing though...well, have fun with all that. He'd be better used as a third or fouth line scary image coming down the ice.

The only joy this brings me is the hope that Pronger's stick works on Bert's face like it did on Selanne so many times in the playoffs. Yes, I'm that bitter!

Jordi said...

One season too late Bert, one season too late.

ColBerdan said...

Image-wise, if the Ducks had a problem battling a "thug" label in these past playoffs, Burke probably just exacerbated it.

Oh, I would say the litany of suspensions decided that battle during the playoffs. I think "confirmed" is a better word than "exacerbated"...

Doogie said...

The only joy this brings me is the hope that Pronger's stick works on Bert's face like it did on Selanne so many times in the playoffs. Yes, I'm that bitter!

Or that a Pronger clearing attempt catches him in the face.

Just a suggestion.

Bryan said...

It really sickens me that Bertuzzi is a Duck. And I even talked to Burke last week and thanked him for not bringing in Bertuzzi at the trade deadline. He told me well the price wasn't right and I responded that it was more that the player wasnt right. So 4 mil for Bertuzzi is the right price? Very disappointing. Bertuzzi is the absolute thug in the NHL. You can't even compare May's sucker punch or Pronger's questionable suspensions. While Schneider I agree is a great replacement for Scotty, Bertuzzi is total trash. I would rather see Kariya in a Duck uniform. That's how bad it is.

John said...

All of you better realize that this Duck team is not the "family friendly" Disney product of days-gone-by. They've proved they can win with toughness and now the Stanley Cup gets trotted out with every Duck appearance. Now you question the manner in which that Cup was provided - how dare you!

Niekon said...

well it could be worse... Anaheim could sign Boogaard too ^_~

kate said...

The Ducks will be the most sucker-punchiest team the world has ever known!

I'm a little baffled by the way in which the media discusses Selanne and Niedermayer's possible retirement. I saw a headline yesterday that said "Neidermayer close to retirement". It makes no sense to me. He's either retiring or he's not. What's with all the hemming and hawing, boys? Even weirder, what criteria is the media using to gauge the tone of the hemming and hawing? Oooh, Neider is wearing his Mr. Roger's cardigan and his old man slippers today, he must be CLOSER TO RETIRING!

Are you guys allowed to be annoyed by this yet?