Tyler Bertuzzi skates as Detroit Red Wings play in Canada

While the Detroit Red Wings traveled to Canada, Tyler Bertuzzi stayed in Detroit and skated alone.

The Wings did not practice Friday before heading to Montreal, where they began their first road trip of the season on Saturday. Bertuzzi could not be with the team as he refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and, under current border regulations, cannot travel to Canada.

The NHL and the Players Association have agreed not to have a vaccination mandate, but teams can suspend without pay players who cannot participate in club activities because they are not vaccinated. Coach Jeff Blashill has said the Wings will “keep him in-house” if Bertuzzi was suspended.

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Blashill responded to what Bertuzzi does when he can’t train with his teammates. They had a morning skating session on Saturday at the Bell Center.

“He skated (Friday) and chose to skate alone today,” said Blashill. “It’s up to him to decide.”

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Commissioner Gary Bettman said that before the start of the season, only four players had chosen not to be vaccinated.

Bertuzzi is a top player, a power player, and he has a four-goal team after four games.

“Certainly Tyler is a big part of our team, he’s a big part of who we are,” said Blashill. “He’s a very good player. How much we miss Tyler depends on the guys who take responsibility. We’d love to see Tyler back.”

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The plan is for Bertuzzi to take a car service and meet the Wings in Chicago for Sunday’s 7 p.m. game. The Wings return to Canada at the end of the week, for a game on October 30 in Toronto and November 2 in Montreal.

Contact Helene St. James at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Learn more about the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. His book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph books. Custom copies available via email.

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