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Door Into Canada Could Be Opening For Red Wings Bertuzzi

Canadian government lifting COVID-19 vaccination requirement



Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi could be back playing in Canada this season.

It’s appearing likely that there won’t be any enforced rests for Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi during the 2022-23 NHL season.

Canadian national newspaper the Globe & Mail is reporting that the Canadian government will be lifting the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to cross the border into the country on September 30.

Details are still be finalized within the Cabinet of the ruling Liberal government. That’s why there’s been no official confirmation of the change.

Bertuzzi was the only Red Wings player opting out of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to last season. Due to that decision, he was unable to travel to Canada for any of Detroit’s nine games in the country.

“Personal choice. Freedom of choice. And life choice,” Bertuzzi said about his decision.

At the time, GM Steve Yzerman didn’t seem at all pleased by Bertuzzi’s choice.

“It’s his decision,” Yzerman said at the time, “and it’s the world we live in today. I’m not in a position to force anyone.”

It’s not known whether Bertuzzi was making a decision to get a vaccination during the offseason. But now it’s looking as though it won’t matter.

Bertuzzi Absence Played Role in Red Wings’ Canadian Struggles

Minus Bertuzzi, the Red Wings went 2-7 during their nine games in Canada last season. Opponents were outscoring Detroit 33-16 and shutting the Red Wings out three times.

Their struggles as a Canadian club were including an 0-5 slate against the Montreal Canadiens (0-2), Toronto Maple Leafs (0-2) and Ottawa Senators (0-1), Detroit’s Atlantic Division rivals.

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This season, Detroit will be playing 10 games in Canada, starting with a December 23 date at Ottawa. There are two games at Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, along with solo visits to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary.

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This is a contract year for Bertuzzi. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end if he doesn’t sign a new pact with Detroit.

Adding another 10 games to his oportunity to impress certainly won’t hurt his chances of putting up significant numbers. Last season, despite missing 14 games, Bertuzzi ended up finishing second on the Red Wings in goals (30) and points (62).