bertuzzi to the flames, emery to atlant mytishchi?

Question: How is it that Todd Bertuzzi [a player whose style is quickly becoming obsolete in the new NHL and who has been a shadow of his former self since ‘the incident’] can score a $2 million contract fron the Flames, but Ray Emery [one year removed from being the #1 goalie on a Cup finals team and thrown out of Ottawa because of a lack of hard work and questionable lifestyle issues] can’t get an NHL contract at a time when young goalies are at a premium?

It makes no sense to me. Since ‘the incident’ [which was one of the ugliest scenes I have ever witnessed in sports, up there with the brawl in Detroit], Bertuzzi has been given several chances to re-establish himself as a presence and a contributor in the NHL, and he has tanked it every time. 11 points during ’06-07, 40 points last year with the Ducks. Lame. And you can add a wonky back and concussion problems on to that ant hill of points to boot. And while his suspension for ‘the incident’ really only lasted about 30 NHL games or so [plus some international games which he shouldn’t have been a part of anyway because Canada has way more to offer than this guy], here we have Ray Emery essentially being banned from the NHL for one year because of a poor attitude.

Yes, Emery is a bit of a loose cannon and blew his chance last year to step and and take back his spot in the net for the Sens. He showed up late for practice [ a huge no no] and did not demonstrate the necessary work ethic in order to get back to being ‘the guy’ between the pipes in Ottawa. There are rumors out there about a party lifestyle and a rock star mentality, but he’s only 25 years old and [I repeat for emphasis] has been the starting goalie in the Stanley Cup Finals, only one year ago. But you can’t tell me that there is not one NHL team out there that couldn’t use a guy with his potential in the crease.

Something does not add up here. If I were an NHL GM, I would much rather have a young guy with a poor attitude who [with a solid mentor] could grow on my team and become a legit #1 goalie in the league than a washed up, slow goon who broke someone’s neck with several cheap shots and never really paid the price for it.

And that’s my ‘Saturday morning just rolled out of bed and wanted to get that off my chest’ sports take of the day.

    • Joel
    • July 12th, 2008

    I think Bertuzzi’s sweet deal can be attributed to Calgary being a little desperate for offense. It’s been a while since they were a real offensive threat and perhaps Keenan saw something of Bertuzzi in Florida that appeals to him. You’re right, he was once a premier forward in the NHL.

    Emery, on the other hand, has shown over the past couple seasons that he is not one of the more responsible, coachable players in the league. I’m not sure it’s so easy to downplay his poor attitude with his skill set (which I don’t even think is that great). When I was trying out for hockey teams, by no means was I a standout performer, but I think I proved to understand the team concept better than others who could stickhandle me inside out.

    Personally, I am surprised Emery didn’t get some sort of deal. Even from some poorly-managed franchise like the LA Kings, who’d throw money at a gorilla on skates. But I think it comes down to risk, and who would you be more willing to take a risk on. Bertuzzi in his prime, was ten times better than Emery in his.

    For TSN, I’m Joel Fisher. (I wish.)

    • jordan d.
    • July 13th, 2008

    Well Ian, in respect to all of what you have said i would have to disagree but on different terms. Firstly i agree emery is of great talent when he is focused, but if he is not, then he is pretty terrible and often lets in “raycroft like” weak goals. The other reason why i don’t think we see any team jumping at the chance at Emery is because msot teams have their number one starters for the year, and would not need a talented guy to be backup for a couple million, especially seeing as Emery was a big distraction being a backup last year. The only team i can think of that really needs a starting goalie for the next year would be LA, who i feel is hoping someone like labarbara is going to make the next step, in which case Emery could create another goalie problem.
    As for Bertuzzi, what he did was absolutely terrible, and he may not have been punished nearly enough. But i do believe he didn’t mean to do as much damage as he did, got caught up in the moment and has since then felt very bad. Not to mention the constant reminders he must get from fans and lawsuits and the media i think he may have paid his price, maybe not though, but the NHL has come to forget about it. Now as for him signing for the Flames, i think the only reason he gets a contract like this is because of his goon, big physical player type. I think teh flames style is perfect for him, and after losing a vetern like olan nolan, bertuzzi may fit the bill with all the skills nolan has. 40 points is not a terrible amount so i feel liek the flames could keep him at 40 points or may even get him over the 50 point barrier.
    thats my two sense anyways

  1. Joel – fair points. while i would agree that bert was very good 5 years ago, emery hasn’t even entered his prime yet. that’s my point. i can’t believe someone wouldn’t pick him up at this point in his career. he’s only 25, with lots of maturing and growing to do. he’s proved he can be a reliable, successful goalie. why not take a chance on him? when a guy like jeff finger can get 3.5 mill per year, you’d think a team would throw some cash at emery.

    Jordan – maybe yeah, teams have their #1 goalie in place and don’t want him as a backup / potential distraction. LA comes to mind as a team that needs a goalie. or the Avs could have signed him instead of Raycroft. i guess comparing the signing of a forward and the non-signing of a goalie is a bit apples / oranges. emery can make a lot of money for one year in russia, and maybe can showcase himself to get back in the NHL next year.

    • JV
    • July 13th, 2008

    Emery also needs to lay off the cocaine. interesting that him and redden are out of ottawa now…and don’t forget that emery was the starting goalie in the finals because ottawa’s regular starter (who only got paid 900’000 that season) was injured. he had his chance(s), and the fact that no team picked him up, even as a backup, has to tell you something. maybe a year off is what he needs, hopefully he can get his life/game back together.

    i do feel bad for bertuzzi. he got punished because of the result of his action, and not the action itself. i saw martin havlat violently use his stick as a weapon against mark recchi of the flyers 4 years ago. (using a weapon is worse than using just hands). yet, because recchi didn’t get hurt, havlat only got a 2 game suspension. BUT, because moore got hurt, bertuzzi gets punished way worse. now, i know i understand the public outcry and all that, but i think more punishment should happen against the action, and not just the result. if you do that, then you get rid of all these bad results (injuries) because no one will do the action anymore. i hope you follow. and i know you weren’t really typing about this, i just got off on a tangent. because bertuzzi just sucker punched a guy, which is an action that happens all the time in hockey, especially leafs games. 1 out of 10000 times someone gets really hurt (like moore). tough situation.

    anyways, ian, i’m hardly on facebook, but was bored this evening, saw your link to this, and appreciated your comments. i don’t know if i’ll be able to tell if you reply to me or not, this is my first time doing something like this. have a good one man.

  2. JV. long time, man. thanks for checking in. in case you do come back to read this, let me just say that i don’t know the extent of emery’s shenanigans. perhaps his partying is way worse than anyone outside of the senators family knows. are you implying that redden was in on this stuff too? i thought he was out of ottawa because he was terrible last year. anyway, emery was given the opportunity when haskek got hurt and ran with it, taking the sens to the finals for the first time. that is a big deal. i hope he can get things back on track, professionally and personally.

    as for bertuzzi, yes there are incidents that appear worse but don’t get the same punishment due to lack of injury. there is inconsistency there. but i wouldn’t say that bertuzzi ‘just’ sucker punched a guy. there was also the stalking up and down the ice [pre-meditated act], ramming moore’s face on the ice and the subsequent punches thrown before he someone could intervene. i’m just saying, it wasn’t a heat of the moment one off sucker punch.

    thanks for checking in, man. i miss the banter on the pool message boards. hope all is well.

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