The Northwest Division just got a lot more interesting!
Today, the Calgary Flames signed forward Todd Bertuzzi to a one-year deal worth $1.95 million. This adds some much needed size and power to the Flames.
This also marks the return of Bertuzzi to the Northwest Division. In 2006, he was traded to the Florida Panthers in a deal that sent Roberto Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks. That deal is regarded as one of the most lopsided transactions in recent memory.
Since leaving Vancouver, he played for the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks. In 68 games with the Ducks, he recorded 14 goals, 26 assists, and 97 penalty minutes.
Could this be a new beginning for the struggling Bertuzzi?
He has not been the same since the Steve Moore incident—one of the worst acts ever committed on the ice.
We all remember it. In 2004 at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C., in a divisional game against the Colorado Avalanche, Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punched Avalanche forward Steve Moore from behind.
That sucker-punch got Bertuzzi suspended indefinitely, but Steve Moore has not been able to come back to the game he loves since then. Now they are in a bitter legal dispute that also involves former Canuck coach Marc Crawford and the Vancouver organization.
Now with Bertuzzi back in the Northwest Division, we will witness some interesting match-ups. Bertuzzi will play against his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, in divisional games. But most interesting, he will be facing the team he was playing when his career went downhill—the Colorado Avalanche.
Calgary vs. Colorado already has an intense rivalry, but Todd Bertuzzi intensifies this a few notches. He will be playing in Denver for several games, where he is public enemy No. 1.
As an Avs fan, I cannot wait to play the Flames!