Another day another player waived. This time Todd Bertuzzi of the Anaheim Ducks.
If you recall Brian Burke signed Big Bert to a 2 year 8 million dollar deal last season.
Bertuzzi is a 6'4" 245lb left wing who at age 33 had 14g for 40 points in 68 games last year.
This is obviously a cap clearing move for the Ducks so that they can get Corey Perry signed. The Ducks right now have 51 million committed to payroll next season. There were rumors that it would be Mathieu Schneider the Ducks would try to move - that still could happen - but for now its Bertuzzi who will be moving on.
Next and most obvious question - are the Jackets interested?
Bertuzzi hasn't been the same player since he had the incident with Steve Moore back in March of 2004. He's also battled the injury bug frequently the past 2 seasons only appearing in 15 games in 2006 and 68 last season. He's also been inconsistant in his play.
He's a gamble but how many players did we even have score 40 points in our top 6 last year? Only two in Nash and Z.
The Jackets will have to evaluate their chances of landing guys they want in free agency versus what a Bertuzzi could bring to the table for a least a year.
I know if I'm Howson and Hitch I'm watching a shit load of tape on this guy right now from last year. We need a top 6 forward and Bertuzzi at 4 mil for one year really isn't a bad risk to take. Especially considering we wouldn't give up assets to get him or the dollars we'd avoid committing to someone on a longer term.
I'd also want to know what kind of locker room guy he is and how competitive he still is (there is that word again) game in and game out. If he's still got the fire then why not? He's a big body who can score 15 - 20 for you. If we miss the playoffs you sell him at the deadline to the highest bidder.
I'm also not confident we can land all the guys we want in free agency and heck maybe even claiming Bertuzzi could help send a message to potential free agents that this team is serious about contending this season.
I've got to be honest - I'd think long and hard about putting a claim in but would understand why they wouldn't.
If they do claim him they could still take a run at Malone although that would make not landing him a little easier to stomach.
If they don't rest assured its because they think they can do better and the question marks surrounding Bertuzzi were just to big to roll the dice on.
I tell ya what make really make it interesting is if Bertuzzi goes through re-entry waivers then the team that claims would only be on the hook for half his salary for a year.
UPDATE: It looks like the Ducks will buyout Bertuzzi if he clears waivers. With that news I think the Jackets take a pass and if they miss the boat on their UFA top targets perhaps they consider Bert after.
Discuss - any interest in Big Bert out there?
Friday, June 27, 2008
Labels: Todd Bertuzzi