Red Wings' Tyler Bertuzzi, NHL's only unvaccinated player, in COVID-19 protocol

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings placed forward Tyler Bertuzzi — the only unvaccinated player in the NHL against the coronavirus — on COVID-19 protocol list Wednesday.

Bertuzzi was not in the lineup against the Seattle Kraken, and after Detroit's 4-3 shootout victory, coach Jeff Blashill said Bertuzzi will miss the next 10 days and five games in that span.

Tyler Bertuzzi

Bertuzzi must now go through a sequence of protocols and tests, with daily testing. He will be tested again Thursday.

Talking about his decision to not get vaccinated during training camp, Bertuzzi said, "it's a life choice, a personal choice."

Bertuzzi, 26, said he talked it over with family, including the family of his fiancee Ashley Greasley. The couple is expecting their first child.

“It was pretty set in stone,” Bertuzzi said in training camp. "It's a personal choice, freedom of choice and life choice."

Bertuzzi joins defenseman Danny DeKeyser in COVID-19 protocol. DeKeyser was placed on the list late last week

Bertuzzi had four goals opening night against Tampa, and has nine goals and nine assists for the season.

Bertuzzi signed a two-year contract worth $9.5 million ($4.75 million per season) in July. Bertuzzi already has missed three games when the Wings traveled to play in Canada — unvaccinated players can't cross the border — and would lose approximately $400,000 if he misses all nine games the Wings play in Canada. 

Blashill has supported Bertuzzi from the start of the season.

"Tyler is a player I love as a person, love as a player,"  said Blashill earlier this season. "I’m a big fan of Tyler. He’s a great teammate. The NHL allowed our players to make decisions on this, and that’s the decision Tyler made and we respect it."

Twitter: @tkulfan