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Todd Bertuzzi's comments to the South Florida media upon being traded to the Panthers

Wednesday, 06.28.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Todd Bertuzzi\'s comments to the South Florida media upon being traded to the Panthers

Well Todd you're getting sent across the continent here, what are you thinking about coming to South Florida and playing for Mike [Keenan] and the Panthers?

I will be honest with you, last night was pretty difficult, and it's been tough. I've been playing for Vancouver for a long time and basically growing up there, a lot of friends and awesome teammates so it was tough last night. Reality finally set in and I'm really excited to come there and working with Mike. I've had a good relationship with him and I'm looking forward to coming in there and getting a fresh start.

Did you have a feeling in the last week or couple of days that something might happen as far as you moving or were you completely surprised?

Well, obviously, I was prepared. Being in the NHL for ten years I was aware of everything that goes on, especially with the draft and you need to face the facts that we didn't make the playoffs and there had to be changes. There was a little surprise when I heard where I was ending up in Florida and that caught me a little off guard. I'm looking forward to and it's a fresh start for me and something that may family and I are looking forward to.

Vancouver is such a fish bowl and you have been such a focus of attention here the last couple of years. Do you welcomes the opportunity to play in South Florida, especially where you're kind of going to be anonymous compared to people like Shaquille O'Neal and all the sports celebrities down there.

Oh he does have me by a lot!

150 pounds at least!!

(laughing)

But yea, Vancouver was awesome and I think the past two years and with my situation, I became more of center of attention then the team and it just continued from there and for some reason it just wouldn't stop. It was tough at times and I went through it and I'm thankful I went through it and played my last year their in Vancouver. Like I said, I'm looking for a fresh start. I think Florida is a perfect fit for me, I'm excited about being in the Eastern Conference and that in the long run will make me play a lot longer than what I anticipated. And let's face the facts it's beautiful in Florida and it's sunny year round!!

How active are you going to be now to get Jovo in South Florida with you?

Jovo is one of my good friends. We've been good friends ever since he was dealt to Vancouver and we've been close ever since. In a perfect world obviously it would be very exciting for both of us to be in Florida but obviously he has his decisions to make what's best for himself and his family. Let's hope that he makes a good decision

Well there was talk that he was leaning this way and that you coming down here might push deal a little further.

I hope it might but obviously I don't know Jovo's whole circumstance with himself and what he has to do, but he's become world-class defenseman. He is one of the best in the league, an outstanding guy and I think he would be a perfect fit for any team. But I think him spending time Florida in the summer time makes it an even better scenario for him and his family.

Can you tell people in Florida who don't know Alex Auld a little bit about him? I know there is initial disappointment that Roberto is going and I think there is a sense in the hockey world that the Panthers are getting a pretty good goaltender here.

I like Roberto a lot. I got to know him a little bit with the Olympics and he is a class act. Alex wants to be good and he wants to be the best. I think that Florida is giving him a good opportunity to come in and prove himself again and do what he did last year in Vancouver.

Are you looking forward to playing with guys like Roberts and Nieuwendyk?

Yea for sure. Anytime you are building a team you want to have quality veterans and those two are the best quality veterans you can get. Not only on the ice but off the ice they are both professionals. These are the type of guys that will carry a team into the playoffs.

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