Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Beggars Just Can't Be Choosers

I said over in the comments at MG's a while back that Bertuzzi was probably an ok choice for the Flames depending on the cost, and since he's been signed, I would say the price is right.

I think there are basically three schools of thought on Bertuzzi:

1. Bertuzzi is simply an evil person who committed an atrocious act and there's nothing about him that's redeeming.
2. Bertuzzi is a huge victim who made a mistake and have paid his dues
3. Bertuzzi is an ass and probably not a good person but only bad luck has separated him from other heinous acts that have been committed on the ice.

Now, MG seems pretty upset, I would obviously put him in the first category. I think I can categorize the people in the picture in the top of the page as being more in the 2nd category, although probably stupider. I would place myself more in the third category, but I think Matt really expressed my sentiment the best:

"ONE. I don't hate Todd Bertuzzi. Don't think I ever have, though I certainly have no love for the guy. If he was likable at all to we the fan, I would have eventually felt bad for the guy in about 2005, when he was still being portrayed as uniquely evil for committing an act that -- while not commonplace -- is equaled on the Senseless Violence Scale about 5 or 10 times an NHL season, and is surpassed on the Tragic Consequences Scale every so often too." (source)

I've been watching hockey for a long time, and while I won't exactly defend Bertuzzi I'll say I've definitely seen worse. I see something worse probably once a season.

I've never seen worse consequences.

That's the only difference to me.

Not that it's any consolation to Steve Moore.

But in my opinion, this wasn't a bad signing.

I'll agree with Matt on this one. There isn't a lot of risk in a 1 year $1.95 deal. For one, if Bertuzzi plays terrible, both the Flames and the Big Bert can walk away from this amicably. It's already better than Amonte for two years. Secondly, he's not getting paid all that much. Sure, he's the 4th highest paid forward, but he's 10th on the team, and he's only about $500k more than say, Wayne Primeau.

Best case scenario? The guy scores 25 or so goals and draws some of the attention away from Iginla.

The other thing to note about this trade is, as stated before, the Flames absolutely needed someone on the 2nd line. Lombardi is almost a sure bet to be there, but that's about it. Take a look at this chart I made:

Those are the behindthenet.ca numbers for the Flames forward from the preceding season. Obviously it's not a perfect comparison because Bourque, Cammalleri and Bertuzzi were on different teams last year but it at least gives us an idea of where Bertuzzi slots in on the team. In all but two categories, quality of competition and goals/60, Bertuzzi was within the top 6 guys on the Flames. We needed a top 6 guy. Voila.

OK, he was sheltered. Very sheltered. It's not a perfect solution. But it was probably one of the only ones the Flames had left.

I'm no coach, but there has got to be some way to take advantage of this guy's skills.

IMO, this Flames season is shaping up to be a lost cause. There is no reason to hope or expect the Flames to compete for a Cup this spring, and the idea of a playoff spot seems pretty untenable right now. There are too many contracts signed through this year that will anchor this team and too few prospects ready to inject some new blood. It's not a rebuilding season, it's not a bloodletting season. It's a run out the clock season.

Just keep repeating to yourself, it will all (Bertuzzi, Aucoin, Eriksson, Warrener, Nilson, Cammalleri) be over soon.


MetroGnome said...

At this point, I've seperated "Bertuzzi the thug" from "Bertuzzi the player". I'll never like Bertuzzi the thug.

As for the player part, this signing has the potential to be good and it's low risk (cheap, short-term). It also has the potential to be another Amonte or Friesen.

At least it'll be easy to make him into a punching bag if he tanks.

Jonathan said...

You should check out the comments on Battle of Alberta again. I've generally been in camp #3 here, but I have to admit that Bruce does a decent job of torching Bert as a player.

therealdeal said...

Bert's definately not perfect, but I would think one would assume the only way you're getting an ex 46 goal player at $2/per is if he has a few issues.