In related news, the Marian Hossa has a Stanley Cup ring, Americans are watching soccer, and I'm strongly considering betting the under on the Myans' 2012 prediction for the end of the world. The Apocalypse is very likely upon us.
What other explanation fits the fact that Bert hasn't immediately taken whatever deal has been handed to him? In fact, it appears that the provisions of the deal would actually give him a raise for the first of the two. Apparently, we'd still be looking at a $1.5m cap hit, which means Bert would stand to make about $3m over the next two years.
And he's sitting on it.
Apparently, he thinks he's worth more. Apparently he's planning on holding out for free agency. Apparently, his agent doesn't watch him play.
Other than suprise, my reaction to this is overwhelmingly positive. I know there are many out there who would welcome Bert back with open arms for that cap hit. Hell, even I can't deny that he earned is $1.5 this year. During times where Larry Aurie reared his ugly head, murder-raping our lineup and creating a conga line to the trainer's table, Bert stepped up now and then. During those other times, he occasionally allowed pucks to bounce off of him into the net. Looking back, he certainly wasn't my favorite player, but him being on the team didn't hurt as much as it occasionally helped.
But those days are over. We're getting some of our depth scoring back in place, and (please don't fuck me on this one Larry) it's unlikely we'll have the type of injury situation we had last season. Ergo, Bert's probably not going to be skating next to Pavel Datsyuk or Hank Zetterberg very often.
Care to take a guess on what that will do to Professor Fuck-a-pass's numbers? I'm thinking the odds are that they'll go in the same direction of Thid Rosby toward Lil' Gary's lap.
Add to that the fact that Bert is entirely unable to make or receive passes. He loves turning the puck over with that goofy fucking spin-o-rama to nobody move he's so enamored with. He FAR takes more PIMs than anyone else on the team, with ZERO fighting majors. 80 PIMS last season. The next highest? Brad May at 66, 50 of which stemmed from fights. He doesn't use his size to his advantage in muscling through the defense, or backchecking hard. All this isn't even mentioning the fact that the guy was a -7 playing on the top lines last year.
None of these statistics are going to get better playing next to ValFil, Eaves, Helm, or Abby rather than Dangles, Mule, or Z. His point totals this year were moderately respectible but they aren't going up. Also consider that based on Bert's recent history, the fact that he played all 82 games this season is a literal miracle. Are we to assume that miracle is going to extend for the next two years? Well... not if we're being rational.
That roster spot and the cap space could be much better used. As it stands, we've got 9 forwards, 6 D-men, and 2 goaltenders signed. Kenny's on record saying that we'd like to get one more veteran defenseman before the puck drops in October. That means 17 or 18 roster spots are taken, depending on whether or not Ritola makes the team. The max roster size is 23, meaning we've got 5-6 spots available. Now, consider the forwards with the team last year, looking for a contract:
Many would say that Malts should be the odd man out. Though that overlooks the fact that the guy has basically been a Wing for life, that he'd like to return, and that our organ-i-zation can sell itself as a loyal franchise to new free agents. Casting Maltby - a still effective grinder and agitator - aside in favor of Bertuzzi - a shit-for-brains liability that is currently mulling over a contract, hoping for something better - would really hurt that argument. The Wings could sign Malts at a minimum contract and he'd likely be OK rotating in and out of the lineup. Meanwhile, by not singing Bert we'd be able to offer contracts to all of our RFAs and both Eaves and Miller - two young guys with promising futures.
Though, as of now Bert is sitting on his offer. It looks like he'll wait all the way up to the deadline on it - the beginning of free agency. As such, he's doing what he does best: putting our team in a difficult situation. Only this time he's not taking a lazy stick penalty, he's preventing Kenny from inking the guys who more deserve an offer.
So at least for now, I shall continue with one of our many mantras here at The Winged Wheel:
- Fuck you, Bertuzzi. Fuck you in your shiny purple ass.