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A ‘source’ told three beat writers that the Red Wings may send Jordin Tootoo back to Nashville

You'll have to excuse my "blogger Spidey sense" for twtiching on this one. On a Saturday night in July, an "NHL source" happened to talk to three Red Wings beat writers about the possibility of the Wings sending Jordin Tootoo and his $1.9 million cap hit back to Nashville (which has a full compliment of forwards and about $4.6 million of Capgeek-estimated cap space left), and that same "source" told three beat writers that the Wings may or may not be interested in Maple Leafs defenseman and restricted free agent Cody Fransson (earned $1.2 million last season) as well.

This all seems a little too convenient, but here's what the "source" told MLive's Ansar Khan...

The Detroit Red Wings have had discussions with the Nashville Predators about sending forward Jordin Tootoo back to the organization that drafted and developed him, according to a source.

The Red Wings will have two extra forwards and will be slightly over the $64.3 million salary cap once they sign restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson.

They have been trying to swing a trade for more than a month to alleviate their roster and cap crunch. Tootoo, with two years at $1.9 million per season remaining on his contract, appears to be their most viable trade candidate.

Nashville, a team that typically doesn't spend up to the cap, has $4.6 million in cap space, according to capgeek.com. But, the Predators have 14 forwards, after signing a trio of free agents (Matt Cullen, Viktor Stalberg and Eric Nystrom) and would likely need to move a player to make room for Tootoo.

...

The Red Wings would have difficulty trading Mikael Samuelsson or Todd Bertuzzi, each of whom has a no-trade clause. And they would probably prefer not to move center Cory Emmerton since they're not sure if Darren Helm (back issues) will be ready for the start of the season. Plus, trading Emmerton would not give them as much cap relief ($533,333).

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

According to a source, the Wings have had discussions with the Predators about sending forward Jordin Tootoo back to Nashville.

The Wings will have too many forwards and continue to climb over the salary cap once they sign restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson.

Tootoo, 30, has two years left on a deal at $1.9 million a season. Tootoo played eight seasons in Nashville appearing in 486 games. He registered 46 goals, 79 assists and 825 penalty minutes.

With needing to move a forward or two, the Wings would have difficulty trying to deal Todd Bertuzzi or Mikael Samuelsson because both have no-trade clauses in their deals.

Patrick Eaves is also a candidate to be dealt.

Center Cory Emmerton may need to be held onto if Darren Helm, who played just one game last season due to an injured back, is unable to start or play next season.

And Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner, via RedWingsFeed:

An NHL source has confirmed to FoxSportsDetroit.com that the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators have discussed sending Jordin Tootoo back to Music City.

Tootoo was drafted by Nashville in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and spent the first eight years of his NHL career with the Predators. The Wings signed him as an unrestricted free agent to a three-year, $5.7 million contract on July 1, 2012.

Always a fan favorite, Tootoo is an abrasive player who's more than willing to drop the gloves. In 42 games with Detroit last season, the 5-foot-9, 199-pound winger had three goals, five assists and 78 penalty minutes.

Tootoo appeared in just one playoff game because the Wings didn’t want to risk him taking a bad penalty with so much on the line.

As for Franson?

One player who appears to be available and has always intrigued the Wings is Toronto defenseman Cody Franson. According to TSN’s Daren Dreger, the Leafs would like to keep Franson, 25, but don’t have the cash to sign him to a long-term deal. Instead, they want to trade him before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

As much as the Wings would love to add the big (6-5, 213 pounds), offensive-minded defenseman, they would have to make a trade with Toronto, which seems unlikely since the Leafs and Red Wings both reside in the NHL’s Atlantic Division.

Just how interested is Detroit in Franson? An NHL source told me that the Wings and Leafs haven't had any formal contact about Franson, but added, “Detroit is always in the market to add a good young defenseman.”

The Wings have been interested in Franson since the Predators traded him to Toronto two summers ago, but I don't see him coming to Detroit unless the Wings can move more bodies...And Nyquist and Andersson HAVE to be the team's priorities right now.

They can also very, very easily sign Grand Rapids Griffins AHL-contracted defensemen Nathan Paetsch or Brennan Evans to a two-way deal once they clear a body off the 50-man roster (assuming that retaining Tom McCollum's services despite signing him to an AHL-only deal leaves the Wings at 50 as there is still some confusion in that area) instead.

As for Tootoo, as On the Forecheck's Dirk Hoag suggests, the "fit" for Tootoo with his former employer has been overstated:

WTF?

This doesn't make the least bit of sense. The Predators are already overloaded with 3rd & 4th line forwards making $1.5 million or more (Tootoo's due $2 million for each of the next two seasons). While you could certainly say that last season's team missed the hard hitting that Tootoo brings to the game, that issue was supposedly addressed with the Matt Hendricks and Eric Nystrom signings.

So... no thanks. There's just no room for Tootoo in the Nashville lineup these days, and it's hard to see where he'd provide an upgrade over what they've already got in place. I enjoyed Tootoo's style of play as much as anyone, but this Predators team needs more talent at the top of the depth chart, not the bottom.

Could it happen? Sure. But does it make sense as anything more than particularly conveniently-timed triple-leakage of a story that sounds good on the last weekend of July? I'm not so sure, and that's making me twitchy.

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

My only Real source is KH, LOL

I know here in Canada Leafs are struggling with Franson’s demands and may move him for a prospect and a pick.  Tootoo?  Stranger things have happened?

“According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs may consider moving defenceman Cody Franson, a restricted free agent looking at a major payday. The following comes from Dreger’s Twitter feed on Friday:”

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/28/13 at 12:23 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

  Franson trade speculation will heat up. Leafs would like to keep him, but $$ is too much. Prospect and draft pick fair return?

  — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 26, 2013

  @mirtle. Don’t have Leafs cap specifics in front of me, but, Franson at $4+ has to be reasoning behind trade consideration.

  — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 26, 2013

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/28/13 at 12:29 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I would not buy in to Franson. The Wings have cheaper alternatives and the cap is the cap is the cap.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/13 at 12:37 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

We just got rid of 2 former Leafs ... we need to adopt another ??
Same division ... not going to happen.

Tootoo back to Nashville would be a very nice gesture on Hollands part ... send him somewhere he is comfortable.  Would I miss him ?  Sure.  Every time he hit the ice the crowd noise changed.  Cheers and chatter became ooo’s and ahh’s in anticipation of something Tootoo was going to hit & destroy.  Mick sure got a charge out of every shift.  Too bad he wasn’t around for 4th line duties with Draper & Maltby.  So far its just a rumor ... he’s not gone yet ... personally I’d rather see Samuelsson moved.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 07/28/13 at 12:53 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I would be quite happy with the Wings sending Tootoo somewhere else for a conditional pick.  He makes a lot of money to just sit for important games, and there are too many good players he’ll never overcome for ice time.

Freeing up his $2m is nothing to sneeze at.


Run, don’t walk away from Franson.  Not a knock on the kid or his game, but he’s the last thing DET’s defense needs.  There’s nothing “veteran” about him.  No more d-men learning “on the job”, please.

Posted by Primis on 07/28/13 at 01:28 AM ET

Avatar

Interesting player.  Defensive D-man, low PIMs, eats up ice time.  Young, but has games played under his belt.  If Quincy goes with Tootoo somewhere as part of a package, we can give him his $4 mill. 

Nashville being involved might be how TOR sells it as not being a trade in the division.  Conference.  Whatever it is.

Be honest, Mick dealing with Franzen and Franson during broadcasts makes it worth thinking about.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/28/13 at 03:32 AM ET

Avatar

While the concept of adding another young talented defenseman sounds good, I agree that it would probably be better to sign someone with a LITTLE more experience.

However, if they thinking about adding another defenseman, one probably has to go back the other way in such a deal.

Honestly, I wish they could send both Tootoo and Quincey to anybody for picks/prospects. Then use that cap room to sign Hainsey. He’s a good tutor for young guys, plays a consistently sound defensive game and can work the powerplay in a pinch. He’d come relatively cheap and short-term so its low risk.

Posted by evileye on 07/28/13 at 08:20 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

What on earth would the Canoe do with Franzen AND Fransson on the same team.  I think his head would explode trying to figure out which one is pronounced wrong.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 07/28/13 at 09:33 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Franson isn’t a defensive D-Man. He tied Kronwall for points last year and played less than a minute per game on PK (about 1/3rd of the time he spent on the PP). He also had more offensive zone starts (by percentage of an individual’s totals) than 60% of Toronto’s blueliners.

He’s got Yandle-ish potential, except he’s bigger and Yandle is more mobile. He’s also apparently asking for $1.25M less in salary.

I wouldn’t be against adding Franson, but it seems an odd addition considering the Wings’ roster & cap situation right now. I’d feel a lot better about it if it meant Quincey was heading out.

Probably all moot anyway. We’ve seen this play run before by the Maple Leafs with Tyler Bozak. This reads to me like they’re just trying to negotiate publicly to drive his price down. You leak a free agent’s demands and say that it’s too high and you’re listening to offers. Later, when those offers don’t come, you get to tell the kid that nobody else is lining up to give him what he’s asking for, so maybe he should drop his price to something that’s actually reasonable.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/28/13 at 10:01 AM ET

Avatar

Kh called/texted the beat writers after nash turned down the offer of tootoo so that other teams’ ears perk up obviously

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/28/13 at 10:31 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’ll have to disagree on that point—this “plant” follows Jimmy Devellano’s kind of, “Let’s place a rumor somewhere and see what happens” modus operandi as opposed to Holland’s timing. Jimmy D is usually the man chatting with the beat writers at this time of year.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/13 at 10:42 AM ET

perfection's avatar

haha!!! i love Jimmy D’s loose tongue. i haven’t heard his name all that much since he cost the team a monstrous fine for calling the players cattle.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/28/13 at 11:46 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Be honest, Mick dealing with Franzen and Franson during broadcasts makes it worth thinking about.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/28/13 at 03:32 AM ET

Shit, can you imagine if Murph was still on the broadcasts and this happened???!?!?

As for Tootoo, I usually ignore rumors as much as possible, but I want this one to be true soo sooooo bad. I would trade him for some BBQ sauce and a cheap acoustic guitar.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/29/13 at 08:14 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.