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Bertuzzi’s dire lockout prediction: “I see us losing a year”

Nov 26, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Bertuzzi AP

For some NHL players, hope is dwindling for the 2012-13 season.

For Todd Bertuzzi, it’s been snuffed out entirely.

On Monday, the veteran Red Wings forward told he has virtually no optimism that NHL hockey will be played this season.

“I see us losing a year,” he said.

Bertuzzi, 37, is a veteran of the lockout process. He was in camp with the Islanders during the 1994-95 season (though eventually sent back to OHL Guelph) and with the Canucks during the 2004-05 lockout.

As such, he knows this latest work stoppage could be a breaking point for fans.

“They’re not just, ‘I don’t care, I’ll come back.’ They’re getting to a point where they aren’t really even paying attention anymore,” he explained.  “They’re sick and tired of hearing the same crap coming out of both sides’ mouths, and who can blame them.

“It’s frustrating.”

On a personal level, this lockout is far different than the previous two for Bertuzzi as Steve Moore’s long-awaited civil suit looms overhead.

Jury selection is scheduled for Jan. 28 with lawyers expecting an 8-12 week trial. Moore is seeking $38 million in damages.

In February, Bertuzzi signed a two-year, $4.15 million contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings, a deal that would’ve bumped his career earnings to nearly $38 million.

  1. matt8204 - Nov 26, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    “They’re not just, ‘I don’t care, I’ll come back.’ They’re getting to a point where they aren’t really even paying attention anymore,” he explained. “They’re sick and tired of hearing the same crap coming out of both sides’ mouths, and who can blame them.

    Bingo. Add to it that it’s simply not fun to be a fan of this league anymore. It causes more aggravation than enjoyment. Oh, well. Plenty of other sports to watch.

  2. trick9 - Nov 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Only major sport that this is even a possibility.

    • matt8204 - Nov 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      One of several reasons why it’s not considered a major sport in many circles.

    • stakex - Nov 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      Yes because no other major sport has lost part of a season due to labor unrest…

      …oh, wait thats not true at all. The NBA lost part of the season in both 1999 and 2011 due to lockout. The MLB lost a large part of the 1994 season, which included the playoffs and world series, and part of the 1995 season (fun fact: Donald Fehr led that strike). The 1982 NFL season was also shortened due to a player strike.

      So you’re statement is flat wrong. Labor disputes have cost all the major sports part of a season at one point or another.

      • matt8204 - Nov 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        How many leagues have lost an entire season, and are on the precipice of losing TWO full seasons? Only one that I know of. Granted, you can make the argument that MLB axing the ’94 World Series is almost as bad as losing a full season (the championship round in any sport is the most important part of the year, after all). But the NHL is in uncharted territory now.

      • unclax41 - Nov 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM

        Yes, we all know every other sport has had labor trouble in its past, but the point the poster you’re responding to is trying to make is that the NHL is close to losing a FULL season for the 2nd time in 8 years. Not to mention this is the 3rd lockout in less than 20 years. What other major league can boast that??

        Need more facts?

        Games lost due to labor strike/lockout since 1992 by sport

        NFL: 0, NBA: 504, MLB: 938, NHL: 1,698

        The numbers don’t lie.

      • williplett - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM


        You were just looking for a fight. The point of his original post was obviously that only the NHL-among the four major leagues-would consider killing an ENTIRE season due to a work stoppage. They did it once already in 2004-05 and they are considering doing it again this year. Those other sports made decisions to save their seasons (NBA and NFL) or learned from their failure (MLB).

        Fun fact, the NHL has had three lockouts since MLB had their last work stoppage and Gary Bettman rode shotgun on all three.

  3. joeyashwi - Nov 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Fun fact: Bettman led three lockouts.

    Other sports have the fan base to withstand a work stoppage. The NHL doesn’t, much less a third one under Bettman. Different owners, different players, different union rep, same commissioner. Figure it out

    • matt8204 - Nov 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      The casual fan is probably gone (again). But the hardcore fans are among the most loyal in sports…most will probably come back…PROBABLY. But they’re playing with fire if they lose another season.

      • desertfan - Nov 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        Everyone keeps forgetting a very important FACT.

        The big NHL franchises have SOLD OUT season tickets -or close with the only reason not sold out is to enable a very small walk-up.

        Jets for instance are virtually sold out at HUGE prices with 8000 on waiting list!!!

        In Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto plus maybe Detroit, Boston, NewYork etc the owners of these seats will NOT give them up and will be there on opening night-whenever??

        A big lever for owners.

  4. mountainmantride - Nov 26, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    The NHL fades into oblivion…

    “As NFL playoff races heat up, the battle for BCS supremacy and bowl game positioning in college football is at its peak. The NBA season has started to take shape, and we move towards Holiday Season–does anyone really care?”

    Sponsor money is moving elsewhere. Molson still has to sell beer and if they can’t move product via the NHL they’ll move product through another sport. Corporate ticket buyers and season ticket holders can move their money for tickets to other sports too. If there are no games to take clients to, then they’ll find another sport to take ’em to. Any way you slice this up, the NHL is heading towards irrelevance.

    Go visit most any USA city and ask an average 13 year old if they watch, or care about the NHL. The answer you’ll get more often than not is “what is the NHL.” And that my hockey fans is the future of the NHL. Fewer and fewer people, aka potential fans, just don’t care about the NHL.

  5. 8man - Nov 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    One third of the games. The Winter Classic and the All-Star game. Not much left to lose before both sides say, “There isn’t enough to save.”

  6. ducksk - Nov 26, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    I care about the NHL and have been a big fan since the 60’s. I won’t be back because I never left. I hope against hope it ends soon. And I will party opening night this year or next…’s the greatest game on earth. Go see some high school or college hockey…they play hard at that level and appreciate the support to. As for the lockout, it’s like I’m constipated, but, it will pass.

  7. ducksk - Nov 26, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    As for Bertuzzi, what he did to Moore is 1 of the ugliest things I have ever seen in sports. (Period) I’d be worried too.

  8. id4joey - Nov 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    This guy should be convincing the membership to take the deal ASAP as opposed to speaking for the fans.

    • williplett - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      The owners don’t want to consider things like revenue sharing or multiple franchise relocations. They just want the players to take less money and like it…after a few years of record profits. If the players take a weak deal now this will happen again in eight or ten years. We all miss hockey, but the NHL has deep and very real problems that exist beyond big player paychecks-and Gary Bettman and the owners don’t seem interested in dealing with them at all.

      You know we are in rough waters when Todd Bertuzzi becomes a voice of reason.

    • tatdue - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      Bettman lovers read this –

  9. bourciertm - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    I feel bad for the older guys like Bertuzzi who are at the end of their career and they lose a year. Or a guy like Daytsuk who is at the end of his prime and may be out of it next time we see him on the ice. As fans, we get are missing some brilliant talent, but as a player, you are losing precious time on your already short careers. It shows how much the league and the owners don’t care about their fans or the guys who work hard day in and day out to make them millionaires.

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