Coach Bertuzzi doesn't say much

Coach Bertuzzi doesn't say much

Published Jan. 8, 2013 5:20 p.m. ET

TROY, Mich. -- As a coach, Todd Bertuzzi is more Charlie Chaplin than Mike Babcock.

During the lockout, NHL players couldn't have contact with team officials, including coaches. So those players who didn't opt to play in Europe or elsewhere were on their own.

That's when veterans like Bertuzzi had to step up, as he has recently during informal practices at the Troy Sports Center.

When you're at Joe Louis Arena watching Babcock run practice, you can hear him from the opposite side of the rink.

Bertuzzi? Not so much.

"Bert is great," Mikael Samuelsson said. "We joked around. He showed a drill yesterday when he didn't say a word, but it worked out great anyway."

Ian White described "coach" Bertuzzi as the “strong, silent type.''

Darren Helm didn't seem to mind Bertuzzi as coach.

"I like Bert as a coach. He's quiet," Helm said. "He ran a few drills without even saying a word. I'm sure it's going to be a little bit different with (Babcock) taking the ship again.

"But, obviously, we're all really excited and looking forward to getting that opportunity to get back out there."

Bertuzzi, who helped coach his son's team during the lockout, says he's not interested in taking Babcock's job.

"Not with these kind of guys, no," Bertuzzi said. "With kids, yes. They don't talk back."

Of course, when the coach doesn't say anything, how much talking "back" can there be?