Just when you thought he’d quietly hung up his skates, Todd Bertuzzi is making a bid to return to the NHL.
The former Vancouver Canuck last made headlines in September of 2014 when, in one of the most head-scratching—not to mention hushed-up—occurrences in NHL history, he was part of a payout to former Colorado Avalanche agitator Steve Moore.
(You might remember Moore, who clearly didn’t understand the Code of Hammurabi—or the concept of what happens on the ice stays on the ice—suing Bertuzzi for a punch during a Canucks-Avalanche grudge match in 2004. For more on that, read here.)
This fall, it looked like we’d heard the last of Bertuzzi on the professional hockey front. An unrestricted free agent, he failed to sign with a team for the 2014-15 season. The Ottawa Sun, however, is reporting that the 39-year-old has reached out to the Ottawa Senators. The winger is said to be looking to sign a 25-game tryout agreement with the Binghamton Senators, the team’s AHL affiliate.
Bertuzzi last suited up for the Detroit Red Wings, registering 16 points in 59 games over the course of the 2013-14 season.
In other NHL news, the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to be the biggest clown show in the NHL. This morning the perpetually hapless Laffs fired coach Randy Carlyle, who had the team fourth in the Atlantic division with 45 points and a 21-16-3 record. The Leafs, who are a point ahead of the Boston Bruins for the second wild-card spot in the east, had been struggling after posting a 10-1-1 record in December.
Toronto general manager Dave Nonis said: “We felt we had to make the decision because of the direction the team was heading in.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs have only made the playoffs once since 2004. That lone appearance, in 2013, saw the team implode in spectacular and completely hilarious fashion in a first-round series against the Boston Bruins.
Snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, the Maple Leafs led the Boston Bruins 4-1 with 15 minutes left in game 7. They would lose the game 5-4 in overtime. No NHL team had ever won a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period. You can relive the magic here.
That collapse is, of course, only tangentially connected to what happened to Carlyle today. It’s just that Canucks’ fans love bringing it up as yet another reason the Leafs have a long tradition of being the most pathetic and inept team in professional sports.