Ottawa Senators : Ancient Todd Bertuzzi Joins Binghamton Sens
A surprising bit of AHL news emerged on Friday night.
The 39-year-old Bertuzzi has inked a tryout agreement with the Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
As per the B-Sens’ Twitter account:
— Binghamton Senators (@BSens_Hockey) January 9, 2015
The B-Sens are mired in 14th place in their conference with a disappointing 15-16-3 record this season. Adding the veteran may help to stabilize the young AHL roster in Binghamton while giving Bertuzzi one last chance to showcase himself for NHL work.
Todd Bertuzzi: What Can Sens Fans Expect?
Todd Bertuzzi’s story is well-known.
Bertuzzi has spent portions of his career with the Islanders, Canucks, Panthers, Red Wings, Ducks, Flames, and Canada’s 2006 Olympic hockey team.
Yet, no matter how much Bertuzzi traveled, he has never escaped the fallout of the Steve Moore incident.
Still, Binghamton Head Coach Luke Richardson is excited to add Todd Bertuzzi and his veteran leadership to the faltering B-Sens group.
As Richardson said to the Ken Warren at the Ottawa Citizen:
He’s going to be great for our young guys. Having a guy like that around, showing them how it’s done, is going to be great. Just having him around to talk to the young players, on the bench and in the dressing room, will be a huge plus.
While with the Red Wings, Bertuzzi was considered a positive influence on younger teammates like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar as they adjusted to the NHL.
Playing in the AHL for the first time in his career, Bertuzzi will have the chance to impart his NHL wisdom to prospects like Shane Prince, Chris Wideman, and Matt Puempel. For Binghamton, the chance to add an NHL vet during a developmental season is a plus.
At this stage in his career, Bertuzzi may be hoping to hook on with a team that will contend for the Stanley Cup this year. Interest from the Islanders, Lightning, Predators, Ducks, or another of the NHL’s top teams will only come if Bertuzzi shows well during his time in the AHL.
The Binghamton Senators have little to lose taking a chance on aging Todd Bertuzzi. His gritty style will add a little leadership and net presence for Binghamton.
However, Bertuzzi is an awkward fit for the NHL Senators.
Ottawa already has veteran leaders like Chris Phillips and Chris Neil in place. The rest of the Senators roster is filled with developing youngsters. The Sens are icing the seventh youngest squad in the NHL this season (average age of about 27-years-old).
With veteran leaders already in place and the team well outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, Senators fans aren’t likely to see Todd Bertuzzi in Ottawa this season.
What do you think, Ottawa Senators fans? Could Todd Bertuzzi be a fit for the Sens at the NHL level? Will Bertuzzi reach the NHL level at all this year?