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Red Wings waive Jordin Tootoo

Updated 6x at 2:01 PM: Per TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie, it appears that the Red Wings have chosen to waive Jordin Tootoo:

I don't expect there to be any takers for Tootoo, and if he clears waivers, the Wings would receive, per Capgeek, about $925,000 in cap relief given Tootoo's $1.9 million cap hit and the "Wade Redden rule" yielding cap relief = (player's cap hit - [NHL minimum salary of $550,000 + $375,000]).

TSN's Bob McKenzie confirms:

Ditto for the Free Press's Helene St. James:

The Wings need to clear a body off the roster when Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith return--they'd be at 24 players--and while Capgeek estimates that the team's cleared enough LTIR space to alleviate their pre-season cap overage, moving Tootoo gives the team some cap room and the possiblity of trading or waiving another player (Eaves? Samuelsson, for roster-space's sake?) if they want to bring Gustav Nyquist up.

Update: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted a video of Babcock discussing Tootoo's status...

And MLive's Ansar Khan posted a pair of Tweets regarding the likely demotion:

Babcock said waiving Tootoo comes down to numbers, they have too many RW. Said they want to give him chance to play elsewhere.

...

Babcock said if Tootoo clears they'll decide tomorrow what to do. They could keep him on roster or send him down and recall Nyquist.

The Free Press's Helene St. James says Tootoo's heading to GR:

The Detroit Red Wings have put little-used forward Jordin Tootoo on waivers.

General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that Tootoo will be assigned to Grand Rapids if he is not claimed by another NHL team by Thursday's noon deadline. That would give the Wings $925,000 in cap room.

Tootoo has two years and $3.8 million remaining on his contract. Signed in 2012 to add an element of grit, Tootoo never really fit into the Wings' system. He was a healthy scratch in last season's playoffs and is minus-4 in eight appearances this season.

More to come on this story.

Update #2: Conflicting news from MLive's Josh Slaghter and Ansar Khan:

Coach Mike Babcock said the decision to waive Tootoo comes down to numbers, and the Red Wings just have too many right wings.

If Tootoo clears waivers, it's not a given he will be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, Babcock said.
The move could pave the way for Detroit to recall forward Gustav Nyquist from Grand Rapids. Entering today's game, Nyquist led the Griffins with 15 points, and he's already added two more goals.

I'm with Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner on this one, even though waiving Mikael Samuelsson would yield no cap relief as he's over 35--and he has a no-trade clause, not a no-move clause, so he *can* be waived without his permission.

Tootoo is $925,000 in cap relief, Sammy could be next.  Bert is playing well and Clears is here to stay.  #RedWings #Detroit #NHL

Update #3: Here's the bottom line, folks: With Gustav Nyquist's waiver-exempt status expiring after 2 more NHL games, and the Wings at 23 men when Ericsson and Smith are healthy, the Wings have to waive another player to make room for Nyquist's recall. Not one, two.

Update #3.5: From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

“This is the situation here, we have too many right wingers,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re not giving him a fair opportunity. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s played hard. He’s been a good teammate. He’s done all those things right. We’ll see what happens.”

If he’s not claimed by noon Thursday the plan is to assign him to Grand Rapids. If he’s unclaimed it’ll free up $925,000 from the salary cap.

“If Toot’s can get himself a place to play, where he gets to play every night that’s fantastic, good for him,” Babcock said. “If not, we’ll talk to him tomorrow and we’ll figure out what we’re doing here tomorrow.”

Tootoo, who has played in eight games this season and has yet to record a point, has one more year left on a three-year deal that paid him $1.9 million a season.

“It’s just a numbers game,” Babcock said. “That’s reality. I think Toot’s is a good man, good teammate and a good player.”

Tootoo began the year on injured reserve with a bruised shoulder.

The move could also help get Gustav Nyquist back in a Wings uniform. The move to send Nyquist down to Grand Rapids was an unpopular one, but he also got caught up in a numbers games. Nyquist, who has a cap it of $950,000, didn’t have to clear waivers to be assigned to Grand Rapids. However, if he plays two more NHL games he will lose that exemption.

Update #4: For what it's worth, the Edmonton Journal's David Staples believes that no team should make a move to grab Tootoo, the Oilers included, due to his salary:

The Detroit Red Wings have placed Jordin Tootoo on waivers. Should the Edmonton Oilers claim him?

In three words: not a chance.

Yes, Tootoo would likely be a fan favourite, at least for the first handful of games, just like banger Mike Brown made a good first impression. Tootoo is a fast skater and a hard hitter.

But here’s the downside:

1. For a grinder, he’s old. He’s 30 now, tons of hard miles. If we were talking about Jordin Tootoo at age 24 or 25, when he was younger and healthier and almost certainly keener to go through a brick wall to make a play, that’d be different. In eight games this year, Tootoo has zero points and just five minutes in penalties. He’s been trending down for two years now in terms of production.

2. There are easier fixes for the Oilers fourth line. Yes, the fourth line has been disappointing, getting badly outshot when the likes of Will Acton, Luke Gazdic, Mike Brown and Ben Eager have been on the ice. But why not fix that simply by going with better hockey players who are already on-hand, such as Anton Lander, Linus Omark and, when Taylor Hall and Jesse Joensuu get healthy, either Ryan Jones, Ryan Smyth or Joensuu?

3. The Oilers are already pressed up against the cap and Tootoo will make $1.9 million this year AND next year. That’s the real killer. He’s far too costly for what he might bring. There are cheaper and almost certainly better hockey players available.

4. Detroit would likely love to lose this contract, to free up cap space for their own use. Why help them unless the pay off for the Oilers is likely to be substantial?

5. Is he really any better than Ben Eager? I doubt it.

And St. James added a Babcock quote to her story about Tootoo's waiving:

"This is the situation here — we have too many right wingers," coach Mike Babcock said. "We're not giving him a fair opportunity. He's done nothing wrong. He's played hard, he's been a good teammate. All those things. We'll see what happens. If Toots can get himself a place to play, that he gets to play every night, that'd be fantastic. And good for him."

Update #5: The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa offers his take on the situation:

With a logjam of forwards and pending difficulty with the salary cap, especially when top-two defenseman Jonathan Ericsson comes off the injury list, the Wings were anticipating changes.

"The situation here is we have too many right-wingers," coach Mike Babcock said. "We're not giving him a fair opportunity. He's done nothing wrong. He's played hard. He's been a good teammate."

All of the NHL teams can now claim Tootoo. But if he remains unclaimed, the Red Wings face a further decision.

"We'll see what happens,” Babcock said. “If Toots can get himself a place to play, where he'll play every night, that'd be fantastic. And good for him; he's in the last year of his deal. If not, then we'll talk to him and figure it out tomorrow."

Babcock said in May that Tootoo was not playing in the playoffs, based on his aggressively physical style of play, which can cause penalties that must be avoided at that time of the season.

 

Update #6: Per Pleiness...

Holland texts there is no chance Nyquist will be recalled from Grand Rapids for Thursday's game against Dallas.

And Khan:

Wings' GM Ken Holland said there is no chance Gustav Nyquist will be recalled from Grand Rapids for tomorrow's game.

Khan penned an article about Tootoo's status:

“It’s just a numbers game. That’s reality,’’ Babcock said. “I think Toots is a good man, good teammate and a good player.’’

The Red Wings placed Tootoo on waivers on Wednesday. He has until noon Thursday to clear. If he’s claimed the entire remaining portion of his contract (this season and next season at $1.9 million per) comes off the Red Wings’ salary cap.

If Tootoo, 30, is not claimed, the Red Wings have the option of assigning him to the Grand Rapids Griffins. However, they would receive only $925,000 in cap relief if he’s sent to the AHL.

“We have too many right wingers; we’re not giving him a fair opportunity,’’ Babcock said. “He’s done nothing wrong. He’s played hard. He’s been a good teammate. He’s done all those things right.

“We’ll see what happens. If Toots can get himself a place to play where he gets to play every night that’s fantastic, good for him. If not, we’ll talk to him tomorrow and we’ll figure out what we’re doing here tomorrow.’’

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Comments

Dakkster's avatar

About time…

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 11/06/13 at 12:14 PM ET

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What a brutal signing that was… 3 yrs, $5.7M?!  Anything more than 2 yrs., $2M was too much for Tootoo. Hopefully they do not consider waiving Eaves…

Posted by Uncle Rico on 11/06/13 at 12:28 PM ET

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...i think that “impromptu” fight to start the game the other night may have been the deciding factor…..wtf was that all about ???.....nothing like a good donnybrook to get the wings’ juices flowing….not….

...when they picked him up i had mixed feelings…..what would be his value to the wings ??...an ardent forechecker to fill the helm vacuum….a 5:00 minute per game specialist ???.....grit ???.....a very narrow skillset, as evidenced by his playoff icetime…well, helm is back and somebody has to go….wouldn’t be surprised to see him land back in nashville…..or edmonton…

Posted by dingus from the salty great lake on 11/06/13 at 12:28 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I hated him in Nashville. I was lukewarm on him as a Red Wing. The Red Wing system requires players to be like Swiss Army knives, but Tootoo is a blunt club. He does one thing fairly well and that’s it. He’s probably a really wonderful person, but he’s not in the mold of Red Wings hockey.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/06/13 at 12:34 PM ET

Crater's avatar

Posted by dingus from the salty great lake on 11/06/13 at 12:28 PM ET

I hate those kinds of fights as well.. but I doubt that had anything to do with this. Babcock knew why he was putting Tootoo in that game, and he especially knew what would happen starting him on the ice. Fact is, it worked against us was more up to Babs than it was to Jordin. That’s his game and everyone knows it.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 11/06/13 at 12:37 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Finally.  A good move with a point.

At some point whoever it if in the Wings org that thinks they need someone to “keep the flies off” every few years will finally have learned their lesson.  Tootoo was incredibly pointless on this roster.I honestly wish he’d get claimed and it be a permanent solution.  More than likely though he won’t until if they try re-entry waivers.

Posted by Primis on 11/06/13 at 12:40 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

More than likely though he won’t until if they try re-entry waivers.
Posted by Primis on 11/06/13 at 12:40 PM ET

I could be wrong, but i think the last CBA did away with re-entry waivers

Posted by Hootinani on 11/06/13 at 12:47 PM ET

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Yeah, I really do hope he gets claimed, but I’m not holding my breathe.

Posted by Garth on 11/06/13 at 12:48 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

You are correct. There are no longer reentry waivers.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/06/13 at 12:48 PM ET

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I have no problem with a “keep the flies off” player if he did a few other things. Like was a good penalty killer. Or could play great defense.

The wings need a 4th line with role players that are usefull. Tootoo’s fights, Sammy’s shots to the glass, Emmerton helping other players boost their faceoff %s. are not useful skills.

It looks like they are on the way to correcting that.

Posted by lancer on 11/06/13 at 12:49 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

To bad for Tootoo. He never really fit, but, he did give it his best whenever he had the chance to play. Plenty of heart.

Eaves is a keeper at 1.4 mil.  Eaves is younger, is reliable on the PK, and I just like him more than Sammy.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/06/13 at 12:50 PM ET

Paul's avatar

.This is a big if, but maybe a team like Winnipeg, Florida or Carolina will bite.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/06/13 at 12:50 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Tootoo’s a good man, but a limited player.  I’m not surprised with this move by Holland.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 11/06/13 at 12:54 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Kate, I’m with ya.  You saved me some typing by saying just what I wanted to say.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/06/13 at 12:54 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I’d rather have Tootoo on my team than Sammy, that’s for sure. While I don’t love Tootoo’s contract and I’m sure it limited any chance someone would make a trade for him, I think he plays his role nicely. He hasn’t taken bad penalties this season, always makes his presence felt on the ice, and actually rarely takes part in staged fights (maybe a few times at the most in a Wings jersey… but I think of Toots as more of a pest than a goon). While he brings little playoff value, he is an effective player for certain circumstances and I actually wish we could keep him. I hope we waive Sammy as well. Eaves’ PK ability along with his offensive upside make him more valuable than either Sammy or Toots as a grinder. If we waive Sammy next and bring up Gus finally, I think we’ll have ourselves a hell of a team (WITH our playoff ninja Cleary no less who was supposedly single-handedly preventing us from icing a squad with both Tats and Gus). And we will also have our one remaining buyout available next summer if nobody takes Toots off our hands now (which does seem doubtful… I guess you never know, but I think most teams realize that claiming Toots probably helps the Wings more than it’ll help their team.)

In any case, Toots is a good teammate and a solid dude and I wish him the best.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 11/06/13 at 01:04 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Quoting myself: Here’s the bottom line, folks: With Gustav Nyquist’s waiver-exempt status expiring after 2 more NHL games, and the Wings at 23 men when Ericsson and Smith are healthy, the Wings have to waive another player to make room for Nyquist’s recall. Not one, two.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/06/13 at 01:23 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Quoting myself: Here’s the bottom line, folks: With Gustav Nyquist’s waiver-exempt status expiring after 2 more NHL games, and the Wings at 23 men when Ericsson and Smith are healthy, the Wings have to waive another player to make room for Nyquist’s recall. Not one, two.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/06/13 at 01:23 PM ET

And the suspense continues.  I don’t know how the Wings are gonna find another right-handed shot if they put Sammy on waivers.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 11/06/13 at 01:25 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Well I’d like to have him over Buckets or William Tell, but this was going to happen to someone sooner or later.  He didn’t/doesn’t fit well with the Wings, but I’ll say this for him: He never sandbagged it when he was in the line up.  I can’t say that for some of the regulars on this team. 

But, hopefully this means Patrick Eaves can stick around.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/06/13 at 01:27 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nyquist has a $950K cap hit so that’d be nixed by Tootoo being waived, but again, the Wings need to move two players *off of their roster* to accommodate any sort of Nyquist recall as waiving Tootoo gets the team down to 23 players when accounting for Ericsson and Smith returning to health.

2 players have to be moved to accommodate Nyquist on the roster. Tootoo plus somebody else.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/06/13 at 01:33 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I don’t know how the Wings are gonna find another right-handed shot if they put Sammy on waivers.

Posted by SYF from minding the gap on 11/06/13 at 01:25 PM ET

What good is a right handed shot if its always wide?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/06/13 at 01:35 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

See above. Khan and Pleiness Tweet that Nyquist will not be recalled.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/06/13 at 02:02 PM ET

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2 players have to be moved to accommodate Nyquist on the roster. Tootoo plus somebody else.

That ‘someone else’ has always been Eaves.  Since, like, the start of the season.

Cheapest contract, easiest to move to get something for… or least most cap-beneficial to waive.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/06/13 at 07:09 PM ET

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Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/06/13 at 07:09 PM ET Sigh, you’re still alive.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/06/13 at 08:20 PM ET

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We in our household like Tootoo. A banger and grit player who doesn’t take stupid penalties. Plus, while he doesn’t have the great offensive numbers, he was always in there trying hard. More than you could say about some of the starters. Good luck Jordan and thank you.  cool grin

Posted by SBJB on 11/12/13 at 03:08 PM ET

Dakkster's avatar

SBJB: Doesn’t take stupid penalties? Have you been watching Jordin Tootoo or someone else we don’t know about?

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 11/12/13 at 04:01 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.