Bertuzzi tries to revive career with champion Ducks
Bertuzzi left the Detroit Red Wings for the Stanley Cup champion Ducks, who agreed with the right winger on an $8 million deal.
"It's pretty special for a winning team to find room to fit me in and to have the opportunity to play," Bertuzzi said during a conference call from Ontario.
The 32-year-old power forward is coming off an injury-plagued season. He played in only 15 games with the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings because of a back injury.
"I know what this guy can do for a hockey team and I don't think it's too much to pay financially," general manager Brian Burke said.
At his best, Bertuzzi was an All-Star with the Vancouver Canucks. He's scored 226 goals and 540 points in 725 career games. During the 2002-03 season, he had 46 goals and 51 assists.
"Todd Bertuzzi is a hard-nosed, physical player and a proven goal-scorer," Burke said. "Adding another imposing presence to our lineup with scoring touch is something we could not pass up."
Burke was the Canucks' general manager when Bertuzzi emerged as an impact player.
"We had success in Vancouver when Todd was there because we had a strong coach, we worked together as a team ... and Todd flourished in that atmosphere," Burke said during the conference call. "I'm comfortable that he'll do that again with [Ducks coach] Randy Carlyle."
Bertuzzi's career has stalled since he was suspended in March 2004 for sucker-punching Steve Moore of the Avalanche during a game. Bertuzzi missed the rest of that season and the playoffs. He was reinstated after the lockout of 2005.
He was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round, 23rd overall, in 1993.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press