Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings GM Yzerman Gauging Interest In Bertuzzi? Ex-Red Wing McCarty Says Bertuzzi is Letting Down His Teammates



Darren McCarty, former Detroit Red Wings player
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty believes that anti-vaxx stance of Tyler Bertuzzi is hurting the team.

It would be incorrect to suggest that Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman was shopping forward Tyler Bertuzzi. However, a rival NHL GM did confirm that Yzerman is calling teams. The Detroit GM isn’t offering them Bertuzzi. He’s just subtly gauging what interest there might be from them in acquiring Bertuzzi.

Bertuzzi is the only Detroit Red Wings player who has opted not to get the COVID-19 vaccination. That means he’ll be missing from the club’s lineup for all nine of their games in Canada, since he won’t be able to cross the border.

McCarty, who slammed NBA draft pick Jalen Green earlier this year when he was critical of Detroit, is also taking Bertuzzi to task for being a bad teammate.

Former Red Wings forward McCarty played 13 seasons for the Red Wings, the majority of them with Yzerman as his captain. He understands succintly the way things work under Yzerman’s rule, and one of the keys is that everyone is on the same page.

Speaking on, McCarty is acknowledging Bertuzzi’s belief that he has a right to choose not to get a vaccine. At the same time, McCarty also thinks that Tyler Bertuzzi must realize the internal strife he’ll be causing the team. Inside the tight-knit community of a hockey dressing room, being an individual won’t fly. Especially when doing so harms the group’s chances of success.

“I respect anybody’s decision,” McCarty confirmed. “In saying that in the hockey world is different.

“It would be tough, because you’ve got to – for lack of a better term – go to war and (you’ve got to know) that everybody’s all in.”

Team Must Be In It Together

McCarty referenced that infamous night in 1997 when the Wings and Colorado Avalanche brawled and he took on Claude Lemieux. If everyone in the Red Wings room wasn’t on board with that decision, then what was seen as a turning point for the team in finally winning a Staney cup never happens.

“If somebody is not 100% committed because they can’t be there or anything like that, then you’re going to war without all your guys,” McCarty said. “This is one of those things where you’re either in, or you’re in the way.”

Yzerman noted during his media session to discuss Bertuzzi’s anti-vaccination stance that both he and his family were vaccinated. McCarty felt the message from the GM to his player was crystal clear.

“When Steve Yzerman comes out and says there’s one guy that refuses to get it and that’s Tyler Bertuzzi –  Steve Yzerman doesn’t call guys out ever,” McCarty said. “McCarty the person here who has been sort of raised by that man, I get it because you don’t really have a choice.

“I’ve received that message from Steve the way that Tyer should have but didn’t. Do you want to win, or do you really want to win? What is your commitment?”

Did Tyler Bertuzzi Raise Vaccine Concerns During Contract Talks?

McCarty also thinks Bertuzzi should have addressed his anti-vaccine stance prior to accepting his new contract. He signed a two-year, $9.5-million deal in the summer.

“The big issue that I have is the fact that Bertuzzi signed a contract,” McCarty said. “Shouldn’t these things have been all talked out and worked out before he agreed to commit to a new deal with the Red Wings?

“He signed his contract but then it’s released he didn’t get the vaccine. So because of that here it is and he’s not playing. I don’t like just the way that it happened.

“The biggest thing is he’s on an island by himself. He’s the only one (who didn’t get the vaccine).”

Essentially, Bertuzzi is opening himself up to being the scapegoat if things go south for the Red Wings.

“If Bertuzzi doesn’t play in Toronto and you lose that game, and then you’re out by the playoffs by a point or two points, you’re gonna speculate,” McCarty said. “I get it that it’s personal but if it’s that personal, then don’t play hockey at all. Remove yourself.”

Welcome to your new home for Detroit Red Wings breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to DHN+ for all of our members-only content from Kevin Allen, Bob Duff and the National Hockey Now network.
Continue Reading
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark W

Nostradamas I ain’t but Bert appears to have put a “trade me” sign on his own back. And it wouldn’t be too shocking if no team wants a non-team player. Everyone out there takes physical risk so what makes this risk so different to him ?

If it is something particular to his genetic code or similar okay. Otherwise its just another risk and odds-wise not even the worst physical risk in Hockey. He’s likely taking much more risk by not getting the jab.

Again why is this jab any more risky than the others we are all advised to take and he no doubt has taken previously in life without such fear?

Conspiracy theory 101.

Lawyers oops AGENTS are at the bottom of this bad advice. Oh darn. Now I have to explain WHY. Lets just say that if there is anyone who wants to break up the team loyalty thing its them and for all the usual agent reasons. Hockey is unique among sports for the good character shown by most of the players most of the time. A big part of that is their relationship to the team. Agents oops… some… er-most agents in pro sports try to separate the client from that team oriented relationship. Basketball anyone ?

Back to reality.

Being one of those who rooted for Bert right along, I’m sad to see this circumstance. I’d like to think I know the guy and that he’s the great guy I always wanted him to be. I’d like to blame this on others. Unfortunately its his gig and he’s got lawyers and agents behind him to show us all that it is.


His willingness to stand for what he believes in makes him more than a hockey player; I’m proud of him!

Kevin Allen

Thanks Jacob for reading and the comment.


Proud of him ??? For destroying the team chemistry ?…and putting Stevie in a terrible spot !

and just what does “he believe in” ?? That’s comical…

Bert hasn’t offered up any reason for why he’s not getting jabbed ! ….cuz he doesn’t have one (just like all the others that are selfishly putting those around them at risk, unnecessarily).

Kevin Allen

Thanks again Mark for the insight and comment!

Robert Alpiner

I agree with everything Mr. McCarty stated. In his playing days, he may not have had the greatest talent (although he had his moments, such as his magnificent goal in game 4 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals), but he was the ultimate team player who his teammates could count on through thick and thin.. He would bleed red blood for the Wings to help them win. Can we say the same about Mr. Bertuzzi? I will let others decide that.


I remember the last guys in the league without helmets. Sure you can go out there without a mask or head protection. But If you get hit. Its gonna fk you up even more than with a helmet and mask..that puck has no friends…I see no difference with Covid19 . some professions I dont think you can go any further in your carreer with out being vaxxed. Too much risk not to be. I 100% believe and respect that its a personal choice. Nor should anyone ever be forced. However if your in a occupation where you are around alot of people constantly It’s hard road without it. Its definitely a slippery slope

Sign Up!

Get the very best in Detroit Red Wings and NHL breaking news, analysis and opinion delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.