With trade winds blowing, Bertuzzi says he’d prefer to stay with Wings

Detroit News

Seattle — Tyler Bertuzzi was away from hockey this week, but it was worth it.

Bertuzzi and his fiancee Ashley Greasley welcomed baby Kinsley Lea into the world, which has brought about changes.

“Very little sleep is the big one,” said Bertuzzi after Saturday’s morning skate, while admitting he’s still learning to master the whole diapers thing. “It was a good week, a good moment in my life and Ashley’s. Something special.”

With the new baby (Bertuzzi was also home because being unvaccinated, he was unable to play in the three western Canada games), Bertuzzi spent little time on social media scanning the hockey rumors leading into Monday’s trade deadline at 3 p.m.

Although, Bertuzzi seemed aware of the speculation that he is looking to leave the Wings.

“I love it here,” said Bertuzzi, 27, who has one more season left on his contract, at $4.75 million, before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023. “Not once have I said I wanted to leave.

“I guess those guys (hockey insiders) have a job to do, a lot of them are rumors. I guess they like stuff out there to get the clicks. Whatever is out there is false. I want to be a Red Wing.”

More: Red Wings living in uncertainty amid trade deadline

Still, it’s not surprising Bertuzzi’s name is making the rounds.

Bertuzzi is enjoying a career-best season with 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points in 50 games. He blends a skill game while playing with an edge, and can play up and down the lineup comfortably in a variety of roles.

For a playoff team, Bertuzzi can be a valuable addition at a relatively moderate cost, and you could get two playoffs (including next season) conceivably out of him given the contract situation.

The Wings are 2-9-0 without Bertuzzi in the lineup this season.

“We miss him a lot, he’s a really good player for us,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’re especially deep with those type of offensive players, so when we don’t have them, you miss them. He does a lot of stuff for us.

“To have him back in the lineup is great. He’s a big piece, a large part of our engine.”

Not having Bertuzzi regularly in the lineup because of the unvaccinated status (Bertuzzi also missed five games when he contracted the virus), has been something the Wings have worked through.

“You miss him in the lineup but there’s nothing any of us can do,” Blashill said. “We don’t think about it and make decisions with the guys we have available.”

New stop

Saturday’s game was the Wings’ first in Seattle, home of the expansion Seattle Kraken.

The Kraken have struggled on the ice, but have been a success in every other way, becoming the NHL’s 32nd team.

“It’s a great stop, a great city,” Blashill said. “It has a hockey history. When I was growing up, the youth hockey (in Seattle) was really good, so hopefully they can continue to build it and get back to greater heights.

“It’s great for hockey in the United States. It’s another nice city to go to, and it’s a close stop to Vancouver, so it makes a lot of sense.”

Ice chips

With the Monday trade deadline, the Wings were expecting to sit defenseman Nick Leddy for a second consecutive game, a management decision considering Leddy might be a valuable commodity to be dealt before the deadline.

Blashill said as of the morning skate, no other player was expected to be removed from the lineup.

… Seattle was expected to sit its captain, defenseman Mark Giordano, who is expected to be traded to a contender before Monday. Giordano happened to be a player Blashill recruited to Ferris State early in their careers, but Blashill left to take a coaching position at Miami (Ohio) and Giordano went to play major junior hockey.

“I’ve known Mark for a long time and he’s a great leader, great human being, and he’s had an outstanding NHL career so far, and he has a lot of hockey left in him,” Blashill said. “He reminds me of another guy I coached, Andy Greene (Trenton). Understated, efficient, certainly a big piece of their team.”

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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