Today the Anaheim Ducks announced that they had placed Todd Bertuzzi on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out his contract. If Bertuzzi is not claimed, he will clear waivers tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.
“Todd Bertuzzi is a quality person who we believe can still play at the NHL level,” Brian Burke, the club's executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, we are handcuffed by our salary cap situation. We thank him for his efforts last year and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Bertuzzi underachieved in his first year in Anaheim, recording 14 goals and 26 assists for 40 points in 68 games. In those 68 games "Big Bert" also recorded 97 penalty minutes. In six playoff contests against Dallas, Bertuzzi recorded two points, both assists.
"I didn't see it coming, but it's not that surprising," said Christy Finn, a season ticket-holder with the Anaheim Ducks. "He was overpaid and he underproduced. If dumping his salary means we can re-sign Teemu Selanne and or Corey Perry, then it was money well-spent. Hopefully we can find another winger that will compliment our forwards."
Bertuzzi does leave a gap in the forward lines due to his size, but with a rich free-agent market, Burke could easily fill from the inside out, or pursue someone new. Either way, things are heating up in Orange County this offseason.
Bertuzzi was expected to make $4 million in 2008-09. Now his future looms with uncertainty.
Original source and image: AnaheimDucks.com