Todd Bertuzzi Looks To Add a Spark To the Calgary Flames' Line-Up

Scott MillerAnalyst IJuly 7, 2008

It's sometimes hard to believe that at one point in his career, Todd Bertuzzi had a 97 point season (46 goals, 51 assists) while playing for the Vancouver Canucks.

Then again, it's not very hard to believe. At 6'3, and 231 lbs, Bertuzzi was arguably one of the best forwards in the league at one point.

However, after that sucker punch to Steve Moore in the 2003-04 season, Bertuzzi has never seemed to be the same. He missed a number of games that season due to suspension, and finished with a much lesser number of points of 60, compared to last season.

He returned for the 2005-06, and finished with a 71 point season (25 goals, 46 assists). However, he was a minus-17, compared to a plus-21 last season.

The Steve Moore incident was seemingly affecting him, and his team. He had been charged with assault and that fans throughout the NHL had a great deal of hate for him.

On June 23, 2006, he was traded (along with goaltender Alex Auld and defenseman Bryan Allen) for Roberto Luongo (along with Lukas Krajicek and a 6th round draft pick).

All looked well for Bertuzzi when he scored a goal in his debut in Florida, but due to back spasms, he only ever played seven games for the team.

He was traded to the Red Wings at the trade deadline. He and the Wings made it to the Western Conference Final, but lost to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, Anaheim Ducks.

Oddly enough, Bertuzzi signed with the very same team that took his team out of Stanley Cup contention, Anaheim. He signed a two-year deal, worth $8 million.

He played 68 games for them in his first (and only) season with the team, and finished with a respectable 40 points. It was clear that Bertuzzi's career was going downhill, especially since he was put on waivers by the Ducks this off-season, for needed salary cap room.

And so, this leads us to Bertuzzi's new team, the Calgary Flames. He was signed to a 1-year deal by the team, to replace Owen Nolan, who signed with the Minnesota Wild. General Manager of the Flames, Daryl Sutter, even said, "He's a big guy and we feel could put up numbers similar to what Owen did."

Considering Nolan only got 32 points this past season, Calgary isn't expecting much. However, what if Bertuzzi suffers another season-ending injury? The Flames don't seem to think this will happen, but who knows.

This doesn't mean signing Bertuzzi was a bad idea. Calgary wasn't looking for offense when they signed him. They wanted a veteran power-forward who can still post reasonable numbers, and that's what they're getting in Bertuzzi.

So, although Bertuzzi won't be having another near-100 point season, he will be a good asset to the Flames, and I wouldn't be surprised if he helps bring them a bit further than the first round of the playoffs this year, a round they haven't past in three seasons.