Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi found himself in the headlines last week when GM Steve Yzerman revealed that is the only player on the roster that hasn't received the COVID-19 vaccination.
And for the rugged Bertuzzi, it isn't because he's not been able to receive the vaccination yet, but rather that he's choosing not to outright.
Should he remain unvaccinated when the regular season rolls around, he won't be able to play in Canadian cities with his teammates owing to health and safety protocols. He would forfeit US$450,000 if he misses the Canadian city games.
Former Red Wings legend Darren McCarty has offered his thoughts on the situation, saying that he respects Bertuzzi's personal choice but also saying that he needs to be aware of the issues it could cause in the dressing room.
“I respect anybody’s decision,” McCarty said. “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.”
“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.”
McCarty will forever hold a special place in the hearts of fans everywhere - not only for his central role in the legendary rivalry with the Colorado Avalanche, but for his spectacular Stanley Cup winning goal in Game 4 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.