The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/06/13 at 01:11 PM ET
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.
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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