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Robert Bortuzzo (born March 18, 1989) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League (NHL). Bortuzzo has previously played in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins, which drafted him in the third round, 78th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Bortuzzo won the Stanley Cup in 2019 with the Blues.

Robert Bortuzzo
Robert Bortuzzo 2014-03-23.JPG
Bortuzzo with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2014
Born (1989-03-18) March 18, 1989 (age 30)
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
St. Louis Blues
Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Draft 78th overall, 2007
Pittsburgh Penguins
Playing career 2009–present

Playing careerEdit

In 2006, Bortuzzo was acquired by the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after leading the Fort William North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League to a league championship, a Dudley Hewitt Cup and an overtime away from playing in the 2006 Royal Bank Cup final.

Pittsburgh PenguinsEdit

 
Bortuzzo at a morning skate with the Penguins in Raleigh, NC, in 2011.

Bortuzzo was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third round, 78th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He played three years in the OHL for the Kitchener Rangers, recording 49 points and 152 penalty minutes in 138 games.[1] Bortuzzo won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy in his second year as a member of the 2007–08 Rangers.[2]

On November 5, 2011, Bortuzzo made his NHL debut. Called-up from the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Bortuzzo was included in Pittsburgh's line-up to replace Ben Lovejoy, who had broken his wrist in the Penguins' previous game.[3] Bortuzzo was injured during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 8, 2011, from a hit by Zac Rinaldo. He was out for several weeks with a concussion, but was able to return to action in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton later that season.

The 2012–13 lock-out-shortened season saw Bortuzzo's role continue to increase on the team, playing in 15 of Pittsburgh's 48 regular season games. On February 2, 2013, Bortuzzo scored his first NHL goal, against goaltender Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils; the Penguins went on to win 5–1.[4] During the Penguins' lengthy run to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, Bortuzzo did not make an appearance, being a healthy scratch every game.

In the 2013–14 season, Bortuzzo saw his playing time continue to increase, in part due to rampant injuries among the Penguins defensive core. He played in 54 of Pittsburgh's 82 regular season games, recording ten assists. On April 26, 2014, Bortuzzo played in his first career playoff game, against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, after Brooks Orpik sustained an undisclosed upper body injury in the series' previous game.[5] He played 13:36 ice time in the game with no goals or assists and was even on plus-minus. On May 5, 2014, Bortuzzo recorded his first playoff point.

St. Louis BluesEdit

On March 2, 2015, Bortuzzo was traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenceman Ian Cole.[6]

On October 9, 2017, Bortuzzo was fined $3,091.40 for a cross-check delivered to the New York Islanders' forward Brock Nelson.[7] During a pre-season game prior to the 2018–19 season, Bortuzzo elbowed Washington Capitals defenceman Michal Kempný and was subsequently suspended for the remainder of the pre-season and one regular season game.[8]

During a Blues practice on December 10, 2018, Bortuzzo fought teammate Zach Sanford. The two got a few punches in on one another before being separated by coaches. At the time, St. Louis had lost 8 of their last 11 games.[9] On December 15, the Blues signed Bortuzzo to a three-year, $4.125 million contract extension worth $1.375 million per season through to the end of the 2021–22 season.[10]

Bortuzzo won the 2019 Stanley Cup Final with the Blues, St. Louis' first Stanley Cup in their 52-year franchise history. He scored the game winning goal in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2006–07 Kitchener Rangers OHL 63 2 12 14 67 9 1 2 3 8
2007–08 Kitchener Rangers OHL 52 3 15 18 61 18 0 8 8 14
2008–09 Kitchener Rangers OHL 23 1 16 17 24
2009–10 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 75 2 10 12 109 4 0 0 0 0
2010–11 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 79 4 22 26 111 12 0 1 1 6
2011–12 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 6 0 0 0 2
2011–12 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 51 3 9 12 61 12 0 1 1 13
2012–13 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 31 1 3 4 34
2012–13 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 15 2 2 4 27
2013–14 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 54 0 10 10 74 8 0 1 1 4
2014–15 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 38 2 4 6 68
2014–15 St. Louis Blues NHL 13 1 1 2 25
2015–16 St. Louis Blues NHL 40 2 1 3 52 5 0 1 1 2
2016–17 St. Louis Blues NHL 38 1 3 4 15 10 0 0 0 4
2017–18 St. Louis Blues NHL 72 4 9 13 41
2018–19 St. Louis Blues NHL 59 2 8 10 47 17 2 0 2 30
NHL totals 335 14 38 52 351 40 2 2 4 40

Awards and honoursEdit

Award Year
AHL
All-Star Game 2011
NHL
Stanley Cup (St. Louis Blues) 2019 [11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Penguins sign Robert Bortuzzo and Nathan Moon". oursportscentral.com. March 23, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  2. ^ "Prospect Robert Bortuzzo". HockeysFuture.com. March 23, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  3. ^ Kunitz leads Pens to 3–2 shootout win over Kings – Notes – Boston.com
  4. ^ "Penguins crush Devils, score 5 on Martin Brodeur". PittsburghSportingNews.com. February 2, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  5. ^ "Penguins back on track". The Times. April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  6. ^ "Pens and Blues combine for another trade". NBC Sports. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  7. ^ "Blues' Robert Bortuzzo fined for cross-checking Islanders' Nelson". Sportsnet. October 9, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "Bortuzzo of Blues suspended one regular-season game, rest of preseason". National Hockey League. September 27, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "Blues teammates Robert Bortuzzo and Zach Sanford fight in practice". ESPN. December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Locking up some muscle: Blues sign Bortuzzo to three-year extension". FOX Sports Midwest. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  11. ^ "Blues win cup for first time, defeat Bruins in Game 7 of final". National Hockey League. June 12, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2019.

External linksEdit