It was only a matter of time before we heard a COVID-related chirp on NHL ice.
During Saturday night’s game between the Devils and the Red Wings, New Jersey defenseman Mason Geertsen and Detroit winger Tyler Bertuzzi got into a little scruff after the whistle. And Geertsen used the one insult that Bertuzzi could not reply to.
"Go get vaccinated," Geertsen could be seen repeating during a break in play.
Bertuzzi is infamously the only player in the entire NHL that is unvaccinated. Sticking out like a sore thumb, especially when he cannot travel into Canada for games this season, the 26-year-old has been adamant in his choice to remain unvaccinated.
“It’s a personal choice, freedom of choice, and life choice,” Bertuzzi said during training camp in September. He kept on repeating that it was a personal choice whenever the question would come up again as more players changed their minds.
It took a while for Devils netminder Mackenzie Blackwood to get the shot, same for Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic and Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith; but they all eventually got it early into the season. Now Bertuzzi remains as the single player among hundreds to make that “personal choice.”
Over 100 players are currently on the NHL’s COVID protocol list and games are getting postponed left and right, so maybe Geertsen was just trying to provide some strongly-worded advice. He’s doing all of us a public service.
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