The Boys Are Back in Mo-Town:Two Former Red Wings Back in Detroit
Who said winning ONE Stanley Cup was ever enough? Not Todd Bertuzzi or Jason Williams. Both players are back in Detroit this year. Both have heavy expectations on their shoulders. Other free agents such as Patrick Eaves will join them in pursuit of Lord Stanley's hardware, but this season will be tough as the Wings once again look to be the NHL's oldest team.
Williams, a Detroit farm team product, is back in Detroit. He had an excellent 2008-2009 season with 47 points, (19 g 28 a) in 80 games played. The Red Wings hope that the sniper can find his game again in Detroit after putting up 58 points in the 2005-06 season.
Watch for Williams to be used on the special teams. His nose for the net on the power play and his excellent penalty killing make him the envy of any team looking for a good center on ANY line.
Todd "Big Bert" Bertuzzi is back in D-town after spending a brief stint with the Wings in 2006-07. The former 1993 first round draft pick hasn't been quite as dazzling as of late. In the 2002-03 season he amassed 97 points with the Canucks, but has struggled in the past 3 years with various other teams including Detroit. Bertuzzi has a psychological advantage oh his opponents. People don't expect him to put up the big numbers, yet his career shooting percentage is almost 14 percent! How is that for overlooked?
Last year with the Flames, Bertuzzi quietly put up 15 goals and 29 assists. Surprisingly, he was still -13 in the plus/minus department. Bertuzzi hopes to see those numbers go up quite a bit this season while playing for a far more skilled Wings' squad. If he can stay healthy and play upwards of 70 games, mark him down for at least 60 points.
The Red Wings also picked up Patrick Eaves this off season. Eaves struggled heavily last season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He chalked up just 14 points (6 G, 8 A) in 74 games. That is not production of any sort. Eaves does have one 20 goal season to his credit but that was back in his rookie season of 2005-06 when he had a 20% shooting percentage. Since then, he has seen his ice time limited (with the exception of last year) because of a shoulder injury sustained in a game against Buffalo.
Eaves can expect to see his stats rise by playing with the Wings, but the 2003 First round draft pick needs to step his game up to continue to play in this league. Look for him to be Detroit's third line right winger.
Enjoy another great season of Detroit Red Wings hockey. It's going to be a good season. No Cup hangover? No problem. Watch for Detroit to make another extensive run in the playoffs.
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