Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"http://twitter.com/mslepp"
Okotoks, AB • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
According to TSN.ca, the Calgary Flames have signed recently bought-out RW Todd Bertuzzi to a one-year deal worth 1.95 million. The move comes just a day after the announcement that Owen Nolan has signed a 2-year pact with the Minnesota Wild for 5.5 million.

If anyone has read my previous blogs, they will know what a huge fan I was of Owen Nolan. A lot of people look to his 32 points as not enough, but he had 16 goals and was our 2nd best player in the playoffs next to Jarome Iginla. I feel that I should address the Nolan signing first because of the respect I had for him as a major contributor for our Flames last season.

Nolan signed with the Flames just a couple days into the UFA frenzy last season and immediately there were critics. And rightfully so. I wasn't a critic, but was very skeptical of that deal, and many other recent moves by Daryl Sutter in the months previous to that.

He took #11 away from Stephane Yelle and sidled right into the second line RW position and took forever to get going in terms of goals. But the little things he did game in game out became evident right from game 1. When Owen Nolan goes into a corner to get a puck, he comes out with the puck. And if, on the very few times, he doesn't come out with the puck, the guy who did get it, is hurt or very sore from taking the pounding from Nolan. He crushes guys, he nitpicks you like an old grizzled vet, and he fights... just ask Zach Stortini, among others. Watching a 36-year old Nolan pound Stortini, a young fighter who's only business in the league is to drop the gloves, right to the ground as if he was 25 again, was a beautiful thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njcmktH1DC0

It didn't take Nolan long to become my favorite player of last season.

I couldn't be happier to say that I got to witness him at his best last season in a game against his old team, the San Jose Sharks, at the dome, late in the year. Nolan completely dominated the entire game, much like Iggy can do at times, on his way to a hat-trick and a huge win that helped propel the Flames back into Stanley Cup consideration as the Sharks were the hottest team in the league. I threw my toque (hat) onto the dome ice on the coldest day of the year in Calgary, it was about -35C that night. I marched right out into the concourse to buy myself a Nolan jersey only to find that the FanAttic at the dome didn't have any. You could get Warrener, Yelle and even Nilson, but no Nolan... I guess in a way that really sums up his time in Calgary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7mH2SfVyoY

Nolan was as underrated a player to the fans as I've ever seen. In fact, I bet half the people, at least, who leave comments on this blog will be happy to see him gone. How wrong you are... seriously... how wrong you are.

Just a couple final notes on Nolan to help solidify my argument of how valuable he was. The Playoffs. Really, that's all I need to say as he was an absolute warrior, playing as a 36 year old with neck problems that would probably keep younger players out for months. Not only did he score the game-winning 4th goal in the greatest comeback win in Flames playoff history... but in game 7, he muscled his way in all alone and beat Nabokov to put the Flames up 2-1 to snag the momentum back. A couple of Eriksson penalties and... oh, whatever, I won't even get started on that...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAmkNH4kmOM

Kudos to Nolan and his agent for negotiating the crap out of the Minnesota Wild. Not only would Sutter not have given him nearly 3 mil, but there's no way he would have given him more than 1 year. The Nolan group was clearly negotiating a retirement contract, and a good one at that. The Wild are lucky to have Nolan, there's no doubt. And for him to stay in the NW... yeck. Just, 3 mil? Probably the most surprising number I've seen this off-season aside from Cristobal Huet (what on earth is that about?)

Good luck to Nolan and his family... just glad I couldn't find that jersey now!

As for the signing of Todd Bertuzzi... this comes as no surprise really. A veteran presence on the right side to take some of the burden off of Iginla and to replace Nolan. Bertuzzi's last 3 seasons have been riddled with injury but he's still a capable scorer and to ask for 20 goals out of him is not out of the question. But for Flames fans, I would say that's his ceiling.

Last year I watched the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets play at the Honda Center in Anaheim over xmas holidays. A pretty lackluster game altogether really. Aside from the Getzlaf-Bertuzzi line which was flying all night long. They were an absolute force together and it was like watching Big Bert when he was in his glory days with the Canucks. I'll take that as a good sign.

I'm happy with the move, and I just wait for an announcement on the price tag, **UPDATED AT TOP OF PAGE** but I would think that it would be similar to that of Nolan's at around 2.75. But when you look at the two, Nolan is 4 years older than Bertuzzi.

Big Bert may be able to replace Nolan's scoring... but there's no way he attacks the opposition like Nolan did. Thankfully, Sutter got several others who can pick up that slack in Bourque, Glencross and Prust.

In judging the Bertuzzi replacing Nolan move combined with the addition of some other big grinders... the Flames will be better off this year as far as the 2nd line RW goes. Let's just hope Bertuzzi and Matthew Lombardi can develop some chemistry.
Filed Under:   Flames   Nolan   Bertuzzi  
July 7, 2008 1:49 PM ET | Delete
At 1.95 million, I can accept the Bertuzzi signing as a calculated risk...that said, I would much rather have Vermette, O'Sullivan, Bouchard or Svatos in that second line RW position. Obviously these players would cost more than what it took to sign Bert, but they are younger/faster and more dynamic. What would you have to give up to get them? Maybe the asking prices are WAY to high and Sutter feels that its a better risk at just under 2 million to put Bert in the lineup? Time will tell, but I'm still not happy with this top 6...
July 7, 2008 1:53 PM ET | Delete
Yeah, the top 6 is a little dicey... and I don't know that we have the prospects or cash to bring in any of those young guys. If 1.95 is right, then I'm perfectly okay with it. The one things for sure, we needed a proven scorer, and he's a big body in front of the net.
July 7, 2008 2:09 PM ET | Delete
The only way to bring in someone would be to shed salary...like the contracts of Nilson, Eriksson, Warrener and (please, please, please) Aucoin...with Ottawa seemingly desparate for defense I was hoping to wake up this morning to a trade of Aucoin, Warrener and say, Nilson (or more likely Boyd) to Ottawa for Vermette...long shot for sure, but it would be ideal. I doubt that Ottawa is THAT desparate though. On Nolan, tough to see him go because I have to admit that I'm a fan, but his deal with the wild is ridiculous...WAY to much for an aging grinder.
July 7, 2008 2:15 PM ET | Delete
Now that I think about it, having Bertuzzi park his rear in front of Luongo, Garon, Backstrom, Budaj and watching Lombardi bounce pucks off him into the net all season is becoming a more intriguing idea by the minute...let's hope his back holds up...
July 7, 2008 2:20 PM ET | Delete
Im not sure how i feel about this
July 7, 2008 2:59 PM ET | Delete
I love this move...it's an excellent band-aid solution for the Flames. I'm glad to see that Sutter agreed that David Moss wasn't good enough for the second line. If Bert can stay healthy he'll be great. Got him at a good price too.
July 7, 2008 3:30 PM ET | Delete
Good luck with Todd.. He is truely a great player but I think he has lost his edge.
July 7, 2008 3:34 PM ET | Delete
Good fit for calgary, goes good with the "in your face" crash and bang style they have goin out west, I like bert alot, I just hope he is mentally ready to play alot of games in colardo and vancouver. It will be interesting to see his reception from the crowds in that division.
July 7, 2008 3:42 PM ET | Delete
I agree Ronny... with Phaneuf already starting to get boos in every building, now we have another guy who's going to get it... will be interesting to see how he handles it playing against those teams 6 or more times per year! And SKR, I think we all wanted to think that Moss was good enough, but yeah, good to see Sutter bring someone else in. Although I found it interesting that Sutter made a point of saying Bert "can play both wings" as though he may see some time on the left side...
July 7, 2008 4:16 PM ET | Delete
I suspect that there will be some signifcant line juggling throughout the season, so the fact that Bertuzzi can play both wings is defintely helpful...perhaps he will play with Lankow and Iginla, leaving Cammaleri/Lombo/?....I sure hope that "?" is a young/dynamic forward brought in via trade and not Moss (I do like Moss, just not as as top 6 forward)
July 7, 2008 5:33 PM ET | Delete
Bertuzzi has proven that he can be a elite hockey player...Great signing for only 1.9mil...
July 7, 2008 7:16 PM ET | Delete
I personally like this move, the Flames radio said that Sutter had Bertuzzi as a back up plan if he didnt get a deal with Nolan. I was also at the San Jose game where Nolan got the hat trick and was one of the noticeable players on the ice from the second level. I loved him in a Flames jersey but at 2.5 mill or whatever he signed for 2 years, I'll just say good luck to him! As for Big Bert, I know some people will look at his past actions rather than his on ice play for the Flames but if Iginla was personally in phone calls with Bertuzzi convincing him to come here then I dont really see him being a cancer in the room like in Vancouver. Supposedly he has lost about 15 pounds and working on his speed. As for production I really dont see him getting any less points than Nolan. I think he'll play on the top line Bertuzzi/Langkow/Iginla leaving the second line Cammalleri/Lombardi/(Glencross or Bourque). As well as a powerplay where you have him a big body in front of the net while you have Phaneufs shot as well as Cammalleri's lethal onetimer as new additions, I can only see it being a good move... Hopefully we'll trade Aucoin for more cap space or move the 3 we waived to the minors..
July 7, 2008 9:15 PM ET | Delete
no issues with this at all. we all talked about bert last night on your previous blog.. if he plays with lombo/cammer.. we still need a capable top line winger for langs/iggy.. and in reverse if he switches to left wing, we need a capable 2 nd line right winger not on the payroll as of today
July 7, 2008 9:49 PM ET | Delete
come onnnnn offer sheet to O'Sullivan...
July 8, 2008 2:45 PM ET | Delete
I like this a lot, I'm not sure if anyone noticed Bertuzzi and Iginla when they shared ice at the Olympics but they have a very strong Chemistry. Given his history with Keenan and the need to justify signing him I will not be at all surprised when he ends up on the first line. I'm not saying he's going to be a 90 point guy or anything but do not be surprised if they give him a look at the top line. I can see the Sun headlines already "B-Iggy line does it again..." haha. I see him playing left side, and he will be our Holmstrom on the P.P. and hopefully Moss can pick up a few pointers this season and be that guy the following season. The one year deal just says to me that Sutter has a plan for 09/10 that invloves younger guys, With Prust, Bertuzzi, Phaneuf and Regehr I can't see too many teams saying, "oh I can't wait to play the flames!!" Here's to being hated and loving it! If only Fleury was still around!!
July 8, 2008 2:53 PM ET | Delete
yep, the Flames are going to be a hated squad that's for sure... lot's of boos are gonna come in opposing bldgs. Let's just hope it fire's them up.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive