Todd Bertuzzi is unsure about his future

Todd Bertuzzi wouldn’t go there. Not now. Not with a critical Game 5 looming just a few short hours away.

“I am not looking beyond this right here,” he said. “I just want to win. I want what all these guys have had here (my name on the Stanley Cup). Just being around here, it makes you appreciate what they’ve gone through in order to get it. It’s a tough battle and we are still a long way away. But my only goal is to accomplish that.”

The question was about his future. Before the season, Bertuzzi couldn’t tell you if he would play beyond this season. Heck, early on, he wasn’t sure he’d make it through this season. He was coming off three straight injury-plagued seasons. He missed 97 games from 2006 through 2009.

Playing hockey just wasn’t that much fun for him.

“Whatever happens, happens,” he said before the season. “I am going to go out and play hard. I still think I am capable of playing a top role, scoring and all of that. But at the same time, you have to go out and prove it. That’s what I am here to do.”

Prove it he has — to himself first and foremost. He’s proven he still can be an effective player at age 35 and he’s proven that he still loves to play the game.

“It’s nice to be healthy and feeling good out there,” he said, after playing a full 82 games for the first time since 2005-2006. “We have a good medical staff here. That and what I was able to do in the summer kind of contributed to me staying healthy.”

Bertuzzi knocked on the wood bench as he said that. He produced 18 goals and 44 points this season and most likely earned himself at least another year here in Detroit. But that’s a topic for another time.

“Bert’s done a real good job,” coach Mike Bab***** said. “He’s healthy, he’s light and obviously he got himself in shape. When we were really hurt early in the year, Bert was a big-time performer for us. I thought he struggled when everybody came back, but he’s been really good for us over this last stretch.”

Bertuzzi transformed himself from a one-dimensional player (a hard-edged sniper) to a dependable two-way forward. When the Wings were without some of their top scorers, he became their go-to scorer. When those players came back, he adapted quickly to a more grinding, net-front role.

“I am at a comfortable weight now,” he said, estimating himself to be about 225 pounds. “I can still be strong on my feet and also keep up with whoever I am playing with, whether it’s Z (Henrik Zetterberg) or Pavel (Datsyuk).

“The game has turned into a speed game, so you either adjust or you get passed by.”

http://www.detnews.com/article/20100424/SPORTS0103/4240324/1128/sports0103/Todd-Bertuzzi-is-unsure-about-his-future


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