More than any other player, Todd Bertuzzi was affected by the last NHL lockout.
His Canucks went from a Stanley Cup contender to a ninth-placed disappointment. His linemate and meal ticket, Markus Naslund, never once hit a point-per-game in four seasons after the lockout. The new style of hockey that came with 2006 featured less infraction and more skill. This worked both wonders and torture into Berutzzi’s schedule. His high level of stickhandling and finesse was allowed to shine, but the ability to physically dominate other players while scoring — which had always been his calling card — became harder and harder to pull off on a daily basis.
It also didn’t help that Bertuzzi’s last pre-lockout game saw him sucker punch a (some say) helpless Steve Moore and then get suspended for what turned out to be more than a calendar year. When he returned, he was less “Bull in a China Shop” and more “Self-Conscious Bull in a China Shop”.
Now, Bert has a feeling we’re headed in the same direction. What the new NHL will look like after this lockout is anyone’s guess, but Todd thinks it will be some time before we find out.
“So, players go after owners, we sue them… how long is that going to take?”
Bertuzzi said a plethora of things, mostly about how the owners and holding pat and that the players can take action against them. They can try and fast forward this process by being aggressive, he said, but then where would that land them?
“Four to five to six, seven months. So, that means the season is gone,” he said, speaking to the Detroit Free Press. “So, if anything, it hurries up the process of ending this thing, so guys aren’t sitting around waiting to see what’s going to be next.”
Bertuzzi is one of the few high-profile players that experienced the last lockout as a star player. Others who went through the same gruelling process have had conflicting reports. Most of that depends on whether they still have a stake in this one, like Bertuzzi does.
Now-retired Dallas great Mike Modano has spoke out against the lockout, saying the players will never recover what they lose to the process. He has said the owners will win, no matter what.
Meanwhile, other veterans like Jarome Iginla have take this opportunity to blast the other side. Iggy has also lived through both lockouts, and might be the only guy who hold the title of superstar through both.