Tyler Bertuzzi is the only unvaccinated Detroit Red Wings player to attend training camp and risks missing all of his team’s games in Canada this season, general manager Steve Yzerman said on Wednesday.
Yzerman, during his camp opening video call, said the rest of the organization was fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including himself. Bertuzzi is in Detroit for the start of ice practice Thursday, but the forward could end up losing more than $ 450,000 in salary for the Red Wings’ nine games north of the border. NHL protocols allow teams to suspend unvaccinated players without pay when they are not available to participate.
“For the foreseeable future, when entering Canada, you cannot enter Canada unless you are vaccinated, so that will obviously be a problem when we face Canadian teams,” said Yzerman. “Does it change or not? I have no idea. But as of now and under Canadian law, I guess he couldn’t cross the border, so he wouldn’t play any games in Canada.
This includes the first game on the road to Detroit on October 23 in Montreal. Bertuzzi, 26, will be allowed to train with his teammates but will have to wear a mask around the ice and distance himself when training in the gym, in addition to other restrictions on the road.
When asked if he was disappointed that Bertuzzi chose not to receive one of the coronavirus vaccines, Yzerman replied, “No. It’s his decision.
“I am not in a position to force anyone – we cannot force anyone to be vaccinated,” Yzerman added. “Tyler has his reasons, and I’m sure you’ll get a chance to ask him that question.”
Bertuzzi is so far the most prominent NHL player to be publicly identified as unvaccinated as training camps open in North America. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly estimated that the league would only have around 10 to 15 unvaccinated players at the start of the regular season on October 12.
Veteran defenseman Duncan Keith, who traded from Chicago to Edmonton over the summer, is in quarantine until Oct. 1 after choosing the end of the offseason to get the shot, the Oilers general manager said. Ken Holland.
Holland has said his team have an unvaccinated player that he hasn’t identified and that he’s not ready to commit to that player’s status for the season.
Others take a hard line on immunization status.
The Columbus Blue Jackets did not invite unvaccinated forward Zac Rinaldo to NHL camp and earlier dumped an assistant coach who refused to be vaccinated. New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said he was figuring out what to do with the only unvaccinated player on his team, with a posting to Europe among the options.
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