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Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill sounds ready to help Tootoo maximize his toughness

The Red Wings sent Jordin Tootoo to Grand Rapids today, and if Patrick Eaves clears waivers, he'll follow Tootoo to the AHL. While Tootoo--and his father, Barney--view the demotion as a significant setback, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Griffins coach Jeff Blashill hopes to make the most of Tootoo's addition, especially given that the AHL's much more...let's say "rugged" than the NHL in terms of frequency of fighting:

“From I’ve observed and from what I’ve gathered, Jordin is a very good person who brings energy and physicality and toughness to a team,” he said of the veteran [forward]. “I don’t know exactly what role yet that means. But we’ll try and utilize him as effectively as possible.”

...
Blashill said he will “sit down with staff in the morning” and decide who Tootoo will be paired with, and the best way to use him. The Griffins already have a physical presence with defenseman Brendan Evans and forwards Triston Grant and Mitch Callahan.

“I think physicality is a positive thing,” Blashill said. “That’s an attribute you want on your hockey team and you can’t have too much of that. Every player brings different things to the table, so we try to do our best to put them in a position to be successful. That’s what we’ll try to do with Jordin as well.”

Wallner continues, noting that Tootoo, Eaves and the recently-demoted Xavier Ouellet will bolster a streaking Griffins team that's receiving key contributions from Cory Emmerton and Gustav Nyquist.

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

“I think physicality is a positive thing,” Blashill said. “That’s an attribute you want on your hockey team and you can’t have too much of that. Every player brings different things to the table, so we try to do our best to put them in a position to be successful. That’s what we’ll try to do with Jordin as well.”

Sure doesn’t sound like Blashill and Babcock have the same page for what is needed from physical elements on a Team.

IMO Wings need more Physical presence if they have to stay with the lineup they have. 

 

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 11/14/13 at 05:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The AHL is a very different league. Many teams have one or two dedicated enforcers, and if you don’t keep up in the arms race, you’re not able to play the kind of puck possession game that both the Griffins and Red Wings employ.

The Wings prefer to use the power play as an equalizer, and their forechecking as a deterrent as much as anything else—when it’s going, anyway.

Different leagues, different methods by which to achieve one’s goal.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/14/13 at 05:10 PM ET

Avatar

hey George did you see capgeek after the wings sent them down? I’d say it’s close to being on the money right now, that is before Big E comes back and eaves is gone tomorrow. right now as you can see there’s no room for Jon with eaves still on the books

Posted by jkm2011 on 11/14/13 at 05:25 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Capgeek estimated $545,455 in cap space if Eaves is not claimed, $820,455 if he is claimed. Nyquist’s cap hit is $950K.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/14/13 at 05:30 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

The AHL is a very different league

I agree 100%.  I think GR already has 2 enforcers and Wings none. I would prefer the Wings had an enforcer that could be a complete payer but they are very hard to find.

More importantly I can’t even think of what the Wings can do after this to bring up a better player than Samuelsson, for example.

It really looks like the roster as of today will not change in the foreseeable future. Who knows what the next move will be or when it will be.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 11/14/13 at 05:54 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“From I’ve observed and from what I’ve gathered, Jordin is a very good person who brings energy and physicality and toughness to a team”

Blash truly is Babs Mini-Me wink

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/14/13 at 06:41 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

The AHL is a very different league. Many teams have one or two dedicated enforcers, and if you don’t keep up in the arms race, you’re not able to play the kind of puck possession game that both the Griffins and Red Wings employ.

The Wings prefer to use the power play as an equalizer, and their forechecking as a deterrent as much as anything else—when it’s going, anyway.

Different leagues, different methods by which to achieve one’s goal.
   
    Posted by
          George Malik
     
    from South Lyon, MI on 11/14/13 at 05:10 PM ET

That strategy hasn’t been effective for the Wings in a couple years. Glad they’re stubbornly sticking with that idea though.
And that right there was sarcasm, my friends.

I’m just thankful I’m able to catch Griffins games. The way the Wings are built it’s gonna be a while until they’re not a frustrating team to watch.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 11/14/13 at 09:06 PM 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.