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Islanders: Todd Bertuzzi’s wild Milbury stories including trade to Canucks

NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Charles Wang (L), owner of the New York Islanders and General Manager Mike Milbury arrive at the Westin New York Hotel for the NHL Board of Governors meeting on April 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Charles Wang (L), owner of the New York Islanders and General Manager Mike Milbury arrive at the Westin New York Hotel for the NHL Board of Governors meeting on April 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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We know Mike Milbury wasn’t a good GM. His tenure at the helm of the New York Islanders was tumultuous at best. He’s maybe best known for making some of the most ill-advised trades in NHL history.

Like sending Zdeno Chara and what would become Jason Spezza to the Ottawa Senators for Alexei Yashin. Or sending Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.

This week, more stories are coming out about Mike Milbury’s time as GM of the New York Islanders. Former Islander Todd Bertuzzi shared some wild stories of Mike Milbury’s tenure on the Island. From fighting his own player to taking away food, and then toying with Bertuzzi after he asked for a trade. It’s wild stuff.

How former New York Islanders GM Mike Milbury dealt with Bertuzzi’s trade request

Bertuzzi was on the Cam and Strick podcast this week and during his chat on the show, he told a story about how former New York Islanders GM Mike Milbury dealt with Bertuzzi’s request for a trade.

Here’s an exert from the show where Bertuzzi shares his story:

(Warning there is some profanity.)

Look I know GM’s don’t have to accommodate a trade request. Why would they? I bet they aren’t too pleased to hear that a player wants to leave. Specifically back in the 90s when things weren’t as they are now. But what Milbury did – which was effectively play yo-yo with a player – was, to put it lightly, a not very cool thing to do.

But that’s not it.

Bertuzzi goes on for a while about Mike Milbury and some of the crazy things he was doing as GM.

One story that doesn’t make it into the clip I attached was how Milbury took pre-game meals away from the entire team during a ten-game losing streak because he thought they were eating too much.

Another story was how Milbury made the team call home after a loss to the St Louis Blue to tell their spouses they wouldn’t be home that night. The reason? Milbury had the team out on the ice after the game doing a two-hour bag skate.

One of the last stories Bertuzzi shared before talking about his trade request was how Milbury almost fought one of his own players (a “well respected and loved member of the team” according to Bertuzzi) after a loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Again, this is wild stuff. You really should give the podcast a listen to hear the stories in detail. Just be warned there is some swearing on the pod.

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