Bertuzzi is now the only remaining NHL player to decline the COVID vaccination which has prevented him from crossing the border to play road games in Canada this season. Despite that, he’s off to the best start of his career with nine goals and nine assists in 20 games, good for third on Detroit in scoring. That will obviously be put on hold again with him being added to the list of those in the protocol.
As is always important to note when a team places a player into protocol, it doesn’t mean that it’s a confirmed positive test. However, if it does turn out that he has tested positive, then Bertuzzi will be out for at least ten days. Detroit, who is carrying a full 23-player roster, would be eligible to designate him as non-roster status, allowing them to bring someone up from AHL Grand Rapids to take Bertuzzi’s place. With this announcement coming just before puck drop, that won’t be an option tonight but since they’re off until Saturday after this one, they’ll be able to add someone in time for their next game.