by Ron Spence
We all know how unpopular – hated – Todd Bertuzzi is in Colorado.
But, why would his uncle Larry be so popular – almost revered in some quarters?
It goes back to sixteen years ago.
The Nordiques must have thought that they were operating under some creative form of Napoleonic Law.
They reasoned that they could sign two contracts in one day, and then pick which one they wanted to keep.
They traded disgruntled draft pick Eric Lindros to the New York Rangers for: Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, John Vanbiesbrouck and three First Round Draft Picks – in 1993, 1994, and 1995.
Plus, Quebec would get $12 million thrown in for good measure.
From the Flyers, they were to receive: Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne and Peter Forsberg.
And, they would receive First Round Draft Picks for 1993 and 1994, plus $15 million.
The Nordiques preferred the Philadelphia offer, and the NHL’s appointed arbitrator, Larry Bertuzzi agreed with them, and Lindros became a Philadelphia Flyer.
The Nordiques moved to Colorado three years later, and won eight divisional titles, and two Stanley Cups.
Many argue that the Lindros trade – plus the later acquisition of Patrick Roy – were the keys to Colorado’s success.
And thus, is Larry Bertuzzi popular among many in Colorado.
His grand-nephew, however, isn’t.