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Revisiting the Todd Bertuzzi trades

The Todd Bertuzzi era in Vancouver was filled with many highs and, well, some pretty low lows.

Bertuzzi was brought into Vancouver on Feb. 6, 1998 along with defenceman Bryan McCabe and a 1998 third-round pick that turned into Jarkko Ruutu in exchange for Trevor Linden.

It was a massive deal considering team captain Linden was on move out of town, but Bertuzzi had high hopes coming in. Originally drafted by the New York Islanders, he struggled to get footing there despite putting up 80 points in 192 games.

Bertuzzi found his way on a line alongside Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison and posted the best numbers of his career. In 2002-03, he posted a career-best 46 goals and 51 assists for 97 points in 82 games and it came on the heels of another impressive campaign. In 2001-02, he put up 36 goals and 85 points. He only was with Vancouver for two more years posting 60 and 71 point seasons, before he was shipped to Florida.

Nearing the end of the 2003-04 season, the infamous Steve Moore incident happened when Bertuzzi sucker-punched the Colorado Avalanche at centre ice. It was a dark spot in the Canucks history and was the beginning of the end for Bertuzzi’s time in Vancouver.

On June 23, 2006, Bertuzzi was traded to the Panthers along with defenceman Bryan Allen and goalie Alex Auld for goaltender Roberto Luongo, defenceman Lukas Krajicek, and a sixth-round pick in 2006 (Sergei Shirokov).

For the Canucks, it was a tremendous return and the made short work locking Luongo up to a four-year, $27-million deal. Over the length of the deal, Luongo posted a 155-86-26 record with a .918 save percentage. Luongo backstopped the Canucks to six playoff appearances and a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in 2011.

To say the Bertuzzi trades were anything short of a success would be an understatement. Vancouver maximized the return on Linden in getting back Bertuzzi. He was a staple in the Canucks lineup and provided tons of value for the club while he was there.

And for them to be able to turnaround and flip him for Luongo is tremendous. Luongo, as we all know, was one of the best goalies in the league during his time in Vancouver and even still, the Canucks were able to get Jacob Markstrom in return whose been great for Vancouver these last number of years.

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