Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Detroit Red Wings

Notes: Bertuzzi recalled from Grand Rapids

Forward will make NHL debut in Philadelphia with family at the game

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT - There was a new but familiar face at Red Wings practice Monday morning at Joe Louis Arena.

The team recalled Tyler Bertuzzi from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and placed Thomas Vanek on long-term injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Bertuzzi, 21, was at home Sunday watching a movie with roommate Dan Renouf when he got a call from Griffins coach Todd Nelson, who told him to head to Detroit.

"It's obviously exciting," Bertuzzi said. "It's the first call-up for me. It's a dream come true obviously. I'm excited to be here and I'm just going to show them what I've got. I'm really looking forward to it."

Bertuzzi said his mother, father and younger brother would all be making the trip to Philadelphia for his NHL debut.

Bertuzzi also heard from his uncle, Todd, the former Wing.

"He called me when I was driving up last night," Bertuzzi said. "He said congrats, make it worth your while and enjoy it."

Bertuzzi was tied for fourth on the Griffins in scoring with four points (two goals).

Anthony Mantha was tied with Matt Lorito for first on the Griffins in scoring with eight points in nine games.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill said it was a close call.

"I've had conversations with everyone involved that's watched both, that's watched the team, they're both playing excellent, both playing really good hockey. We think they're both real good prospects, so as we talked about it, we discussed it last night and we just decided at this time we're going to go with Bert. But they're both in my mind doing what they need to do to make sure they're ready for their opportunities."

Bertuzzi and Mantha were tied for the team lead in shots with 28. Bertuzzi talked about what he expects to bring to the Wings.

"I just want to bring energy," Bertuzzi said. "Play my game. Keep doing what I do, just bring energy. Block shots. Play good defensively and just take my chances when I get them."

Bertuzzi has been in the organization for a while and knows the players pretty well.

"It makes it more comfortable," he said. "They're a great group of guys and very welcoming. They're excited to have me here and I'm excited as well."

Andreas Athanasiou said it was nice to see his friend come up.

"He's definitely a gritty player with a lot of skill," Athanasiou said. "He's a good player all around. He'll go in the corners and muck it up. He's got that touch around the net as well."

Blashill saw a lot of good things from Bertuzzi in development camp, training camp and preseason.

"I think when Tyler is playing his best he's on the puck a lot, he's good a good reach, stick on puck, so he creates turnovers, he finds a way to the hard areas of the ice," Blashill said. "He can shoot the puck from in tight areas, finds a way to score from those areas and gets to those areas."

During practice, Bertuzzi skated on a line with Frans Nielsen and Dylan Larkin.

Although he hasn't made final lineup decisions yet, Blashill said Bertuzzi would get "significant minutes."

MAINTENANCE DAY: Since his return to the lineup, Niklas Kronwall has not practiced the day after a game for maintenance reasons.

That continued Monday as Kronwall did not skate.

Captain Henrik Zetterberg also took a maintenance day and was not on the ice.

Blashill expects both to play in Philadelphia Tuesday night.

PHILLY AGAIN: The Wings didn't even have a chance to miss Philadelphia before they returned less than a week later.

In an odd scheduling quirk, the Wings visit the Flyers on consecutive weeks so they are familiar with what they will face.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux is tied for fourth in the league in scoring with 14 points.

"Claude Giroux, that line, but him in particular, he's an excellent hockey player, got a high compete level," Blashill said. "When he's on the ice the game's never over. We saw that last game. Obviously, (Wayne) Simmonds made a good play, (Brayden) Schenn made a good play. They got a really good hockey team, they're going to come at you really hard. They're going to forecheck you hard, they're going to force you into some turnovers. We got to manage the turnovers as best we can. But then we got to do a better job than we did in the second period (last Wednesday) of making sure we get pressure on our forecheck and we're playing in their end. It's going to be a tale of who's getting more pressure and who's creating more turnovers and who can manage the puck better."

Giroux made the pass to Jakub Voracek for the winning goal in overtime last Wednesday.

View More