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Detroit Red Wings’ lone unvaccinated player, Tyler Bertuzzi, could be left off of Canadian trips

The Detroit Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi waits on a faceoff against the Stars on Jan. 28 in Dallas. (AP file photo)

By STEPHEN WHYNO

AP Hockey Writer

Tyler Bertuzzi is the only unvaccinated Detroit Red Wings player going into training camp and faces the potential of missing all of his team’s games in Canada this season as a result, general manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday.

Yzerman in his camp-opening video call said the rest of the organization is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including himself. Bertuzzi is in Detroit for the start of on-ice workouts today but the forward may have to forfeit over $450,000 in salary for the Wings’ nine games north of the border. NHL protocols allow teams to suspend unvaccinated players without pay when they are unavailable to participate.

“For the foreseeable future entering Canada, you can’t enter Canada unless you’re vaccinated, so that obviously will be an issue when we go to play Canadian teams,” Yzerman said. “Does that change or not? I have no idea. But as of now and under the Canadian laws, I guess, he wouldn’t be able to cross the border, so he wouldn’t play in any games in Canada.”

That includes Detroit’s first road game Oct. 23 at Montreal. The 26-year-old Bertuzzi will be allowed to practice with teammates but must wear a mask around the rink and distance himself when working out in the gym, in addition to other restrictions on the road.

Asked if he was disappointed in Bertuzzi choosing not to get one of the coronavirus vaccines, Yzerman said: “No. It’s his decision.”

“I’m not in a position to force anyone — we can’t force anyone to get vaccinated,” Yzerman added.

The Detroit Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi waits on a faceoff against the Stars on Jan. 28 in Dallas. (AP file photo)