Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman expects Tyler Bertuzzi to miss all nine of the Red Wings’ games in Canada this season because the forward has declined to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Yzerman said Bertuzzi is the lone unvaccinated player on the Red Wings, who play their first road game in Montreal on Oct. 23.
“It’s his decision,” Yzerman said Wednesday in a video call. “I am not in a position to force anyone. We can’t force anyone to get vaccinated. I personally am vaccinated, my family is vaccinated. I’ll leave it at that.”
Bertuzzi, 26, signed a two-year, $9.5 million contract this offseason after being limited to just nine games during an injury-riddled 2020-21 campaign.
He would forfeit $450,000 if he misses the Canada-based games. NHL protocols allow teams to suspend unvaccinated players without pay if they are unavailable to participate in games.
Bertuzzi recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in nine games last season. He sustained a back injury in January and underwent surgery three months later.
Bertuzzi set career highs in assists (27) and points (48) during the 2019-20 campaign. His 21 goals that season matched a personal best, set in 2018-19.
Bertuzzi has collected 126 points (54 goals, 72 assists) in 208 career games since being selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
He is the nephew of former NHL player Todd Bertuzzi.
–Field Level Media