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Red Wings add Jordin Tootoo, too

Updated 11x at 9:25 PM: From TSN’s Darren Dreger:

TooToo agrees to Detroit. 3 years $1.9 per

MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:

Wings sign disturber Jordin Tootoo, formerly of Nashville, for three years at $1.9 million per.

Update: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms—and remember that all these extra bodies mean that the Wings may end up trading some players, and that they can exceed the cap by 10% should the Suter/Parise sweepstakes pan out:

 

The Wings have reportedly signed a player that’s spent his entire with the Nashville Predators, but it’s not defenseman Ryan Suter.

It’s agitating forward Jordin Tootoo.

The deal is for three years at $1.9 million per season.

In 486 NHL games, Tootoo has 46 goals, 79 assists and 725 penalty minutes.

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also confirms:

The tootoo train comes to detroit


Update #2: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:

The Detroit Red Wings added some toughness and abrasiveness to their fourth line by signing Jordin Tootoo to a three-year contract worth $1.9 million per season.

Tootoo, 28, spent his entire eight-year NHL career in Nashville, where he appeared in 486 games, picking up 46 goals and 79 assists, along with a minus-26 rating and 725 penalty minutes.

He is small (5-foot-9, 199) but stocky and very abrasive, but his aggressiveness sometimes leads to bad penalties.

Tootoo, who shoots right-handed, collected a career-high 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) in 2011-12. But he fell out of favor with coach Barry Trotz last season and played in only one game in Nashville’s first-round playoff victory over Detroit.

This has got to be a Babcock signing, and with a glut of forwards, are the Wings setting up for a trade?


Update #2.5: Helene St. James confirms,too:

#RedWings add pesky Jordin Tootoo at 3 ytears, $5.7 M. Down to $17 M in cap space

Update #3: the Wings are confirming on Twitter:

BREAKING: The Red Wings have agreed to terms with winger Jordin Tootoo on a three-year contract. Per club policy, terms are undisclosed.

Update #3.5: From Kulfan:

Holland said Gustavsson was desireable because of his size (6-4) and NHL experience. MacDonald’s injury problems/history a concern
...
As for Samuelsson…he essentiallly replaces Hudler. The Wings know him, Holland said, and like what he provides (size, shot, some goals)
...
And Parise/Sutter? Holland said they’ve made signficant offers and now they wait….along with everybody else in the NHL.
...
As for Tootoo, Holland says he’ll provide “snarl” the Wings have been missing.


Update #4: From Kulfan:

The Red Wings have added two more forwards — but neither is Zach Parise.

The Wings have added one familiar face, though, as the Wings have signed former Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson to a two-year contract worth $6 million. Samuelsson was with Detroit from 2005-2008.

The Wings also signed Jordin Tootoo to a three-year deal worth $1.9 million per season. Tootoo, 29, supplies the physical and abrasive play the Wings have lacked on the fourth line in recent seasons. He had six goals and 24 assists in 77 games with Nashville last season but also had 92 penalty minutes. Tootoo (5 foot 9, 217 pounds) only played in three of Nashville’s nine playoff games, playing sparingly in the series victory over the Red Wings.

Samuelsson split the season between Vancouver and Florida last season after being traded by the Canucks to Florida for Macomb native David Booth. Samuelsson had 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 54 games. He is expected to bolster the Wings’ third- and fourth-line depth, a gritty wing who has some size and possesses one of the harder shots in the league.

The Wings remain in the free agency hunt for Parise.

Update #5: Here’s MLive’s Ansar Khan’s story:

The Detroit Red Wings added some toughness and abrasiveness to their fourth line by signing Jordin Tootoo to a three-year contract worth $1.9 million per season.

Tootoo, 28, spent his entire eight-year NHL career in Nashville, where he appeared in 486 games, picking up 46 goals and 79 assists, along with a minus-26 rating and 725 penalty minutes.

He is small (5-foot-9, 199) but stocky and very abrasive, but his aggressiveness sometimes leads to bad penalties.

Tootoo, who shoots right-handed, collected a career-high 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) in 2011-12. But he fell out of favor with coach Barry Trotz last season and played in only one game in Nashville’s first-round playoff victory over Detroit.

From the Wings:

Tootoo on Conference Call: “It’s definitely a great opportunity to put on that Red Wings jersey and play for an Original Six team.”
...
Tootoo said that he hasn’t talked with Coach Babcock yet, but is close with Darren Helm.
...
Tootoo: “Mr. Holland made a quick phone call and I thought this was a good opportunity to win a Stanley Cup. That’s my goal right there.”
...
Tootoo: “Today is a day for me to celebrate my new beginnings and I’m just soaking it all in.”

And St. James:

Jordin Tootoo: ““It’s definitely a great honor to be able to have opportunity to put on a Red Wings jersey.”
...
Jordin Tootoo: “I’ve known Darren Helm for a number of years, I’m great buddies with him. It’s great to be a part of his team.” #RedWings

And here’s the Wings’ press release:

RED WINGS AND JORDIN TOOTOO AGREE TO TERMS ON THREE-YEAR CONTRACT

… Gritty Forward has Appeared in 486 Career NHL Games with Nashville …

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings today announced that free agent forward Jordin Tootoo has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the team. In accordance with club policy, additional terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

Originally selected by Nashville in the fourth round (98th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Tootoo has spent his entire professional career with the Predators franchise, tallying 46G-79A-125P in addition to 725 penalty minutes. Tootoo, 29, also has also registered 23G-26A-49P-399PIM in 100 appearances with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL).

A native of Churchill , MB , Tootoo captured a Silver Medal with Team Canada at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championships, recording 6GP-2G-1A-3P in the tournament. The 5’9”, 194-lb. winger enjoyed a standout junior career with the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), tallying 209 points (93G-116A) in 220 games. In his final season with Brandon (2002-03), Tootoo was named a WHL East First Team All-Star after netting 35 goals and dishing out 39 assists for 74 points in only 51 games played.

Update #5.5: The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle is weighing in:

Red Wings fans don’t like Tootoo do they… haha
...
@rocknrollnobody @RedWingsFeed Tootoo had 30 points in just 13 minutes a game.
...
@Fesman70 Have you seen a 39-year-old Holmstrom play lately?
...
@AzWingsFan Holmstrom is 39 years old, played 12 minutes a game and is nearing retirement.
...
Wings fans who are up in arms about my Tootoo comment must be watching a different Holmstrom than the 39-year-old one I saw this year.

And so is Nicholas J. Cotsonika, who offers the following:

Amazing how Ken Holland has not earned the benefit of the doubt among at least some of the Detroit fan base.
...
Wings fans saying it’s what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. Um, Cup in ‘08, Game 7 in ‘09, 21 straight playoffs, offers for Parise, Suter ...


Update #7: Well said, from Ken Holland, per St. James:

DET GM Ken Holland on signing of Jordin Tootoo: “We’re stepping out of our comfort zone.”
...
#RedWings done with free agency for today - now sitting back to wait to hear from Ryan Suter & Zach Parise.


Update #8: From the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:

Samuelsson replaces Hudler, Tootoo likely means it’s curtains for Holmstrom as #redwings player.
...
#redwings Tootoo: “My foundation is being a physical presence but at the same time I know I can contribute offensively.”
...
#redwings Tootoo: “It was a pretty spontaneous decision. I thought this was the best opportunity for me to win a Stanley Cup.”

And DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:

New #RedWings F Jordin Tootoo when told that #NHL season-opener is against the #Predators, “Really? Wow, that’s going to be interesting.”
...
RedWings Jordin Tootoo: I had to do what was best for me and go where I thought would give me the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.

Update #8.5: For once, Puck Daddy offered an amusing take on Tootoo coming to Detroit.

Update #9: From the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:

#redwings Holland: “We thought we signed some depth today and we got some ingredients that we’re excited about adding.”
...
#redwings Holland: “We made presentations or pitches to the Parise and Suter camps.”
...
#redwings Holland on Tootoo: “He’s physical, he gets under your skin of our players. It’s an ingredient we’ve always talked about.”
...
#redwings Holland on Samuelsson: “We know him. We like him. He can skate. He can play the right point on the power play. He’s got a shot.”
...
#redwings Holland on Brunner: “He’s got speed, now we’ll see how he adjusts from the big rink to a small rink and with more physical play.”
...
#redwings Holland: “We’re hoping Gustavsson can take his career to another level here.”

Update #10: Via RedWingsFeed, here’s MLive’s Brendan Savage’s Tootoo story with quotes. Tootoo wouldn’t commit to recruiting Suter:

“For me today, it’s a day to celebrate my new beginnings and I’m still soaking it all in,” Tootoo said in a conference call with Red Wings beat writers.  “My job is to play hockey at the end of the day. I’m prepared to bring my skills to the Detroit Red Wings. It’s definitely a great honor to be able to have that opportunity to put on a Red Wings jersey. Original Six team. There’s a lot of history with the Red Wings. I obviously played against them the last (eight) years. It’s always been a great rivalry. I know a lot about the team. It was a great fit for me. I can’t wait to put on that jersey, play hard, play my game and bring excitement to not only to my teammates but the fans of Detroit.”

The 5-foot-9, 199-pound Tootoo signed a three-year contract worth $1.9 million per season. In eight seasons with Nashville, he earned a reputation as an agitator who can sometimes be prone to taking bad penalties. Tootoo, 29, had six goals and 24 assists for a career-high 30 points last season but only appeared in one playoff game against the Red Wings after coach Barry Trotz soured on him.

“I’ve really grown as a player over the last couple of years,” Tootoo said. “My foundation is being a physical presence but at the same time, I know I can contribute offensively. I’ve proven that the last couple of years but at the same time, I still have a lot to work on. This was a time of new beginnings for me and I feel after what’s gone on in the last couple of years, I need a change and fortunately the Red Wings caught my attention and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Take that, Paul Gaustad:

“A few teams were interested and Mr. Holland made a quick phone call,” Tootoo said. “I thought this was the best opportunity for me to win a Stanley Cup. Ultimately, that’s my goal and I feel the Red Wings are right there. It was a pretty spontaneous decision.”

In 486 career games with Nashville, Tootoo had 46 goals, 79 assists and 725 penalty minutes. That’s an average of 91 PIM per season.In 39 career playoff games, he had three goals, seven assists and 63 PIM.

“We wanted to get some physical play into our game and ... we think he’ll provide an element of an edge to our team on the bottom six,” Holland said. “We know him, he’s physical, he gets under your skin. It’s an ingredient we’ve always talked about. We were involved in a lot of different things. Some of the guys signed elsewhere and some of them are still sitting out there. Ultimately I put a call late in the afternoon to his agent (Kevin Epp), who also represents Darren Helm, and he said they were close to making a decision. I was calling to see if he was still available. He told me he had some teams to decide between and I asked what types of numbers they were looking at. All our people were here, which was good, and we made a decision that he would be a good fit.”


Update #11: DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose offers a Twitter tease...

Tootoo hasn’t spoken to #Preds teammate Ryan Suter about joining him w/ the #RedWings. However, he said, “That would be a sight to see.”

And a Tootoo story as well:

“Obviously we’ve played against him,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s hard, he’s physical, and we think he can help the bottom six by providing some energy and physicality along with Darren Helm. We’re trying to get some more edge with the bottom six and he’ll do that.”
...
“I think I bring a special element to the game that no other player does,” Tootoo said. “For me, my foundation is being a physical presence out there, but at the same time I know that I can contribute offensively. It’s all about opportunities, and for me I know it’s not going to be given. I have to work every day to become a better professional both on and off the ice, and at this point in my career I believe I’m in the prime and I’m ready to take on challenges that arise.”

In recent years, the Wings and Predators have built a heated rivalry, and in April, for the first time in its franchise, Nashville eliminated Detroit in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And Tootoo always seemed to be at the forefront of the rivalry While adjusting to his new surroundings will be a challenge, Tootoo is elated for the opportunity to play for an Original Six franchise that has qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the last 21 seasons.

“That’s part of the competitiveness of our nature,” he said. “We play the game to win and obviously you don’t get the opportunity to play in the best league that often, and for me what a great honor it is to have a team like Detroit have interest in me. I know a lot about them, we’ve had a great rivalry against them, so I’m excited to be a Red Wing, but at the same time, what has gone on in the past has to go and this is a new chapter in my life.”

Red Wings’ fans know all about Tootoo, who was the Predators’ fourth-round draft pick in 2001, and is the first Inuit player in NHL history and one of the most popular players in Predators’ franchise history. He was often serenaded at Bridgestone Arena by fans blowing whistles whenever he skated onto the ice, but loathed for his ability to get under the skin of opposing players.

“First and foremost I want to say thanks to (Nashville GM) David Poile for giving me every opportunity to play in the best league,” Tootoo said. “I’ve been there for nine years and it’s been a tremendous experience and they’ve treated me with the upmost respect. But the bottom line is that I was at a point in my life where I made a lot of changes and I felt that this was a change to be had for me to kind of move on to a new location. I mean, the fans down there, that’s all I know, so it’s going to be a little different feeling, a little mixed emotions, but I had to do what was best for me and go where I thought would give me the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.”
...
“I know Darren [Helm] pretty good, we’ve know each other pretty good for a number of years,” Tootoo said. “I had a summer home in Winnipeg for a few years so we trained together and skated together so that’s how I got to know him pretty good. I haven’t talked to him, but Kirk Maltby sent me a text congratulating me and welcoming me to the organization.”

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Comments

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Avatar

Oops,  no more “signings for tonight” by the Red Wings.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 08:46 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

I’m not really understanding why some of you people are losing your shit over these moves.

What do the Wings need the most other than a top defenseman?  An annoying pest that gets opponents off their game AND actually has a pair of balls and will STICK UP FOR HIS TEAMMATES, because the Wings seem to have a tendency of getting pushed around A LOT come playoff time.  All of those issues are solved with the signing of Tootoo.

On to Sammy…I’m very happy with this move as well.  What are some things the Wings need on offense….a right handed shot and someone who actually likes to take shots on goal instead of passing all the time, right?  Well, Sammy is a right handed shot and has a *#$%@& rocket that he has no problem using.  Again, problem solved.

Everyone take a deep breath and try and look on the positive side instead of focusing on the hypothetical negative.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 07/01/12 at 08:53 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Dirty player.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/01/12 at 09:01 PM ET

Crow's avatar [quoteAll of those issues are solved with the signing of Tootoo]

Well you were right about him being a pest, but no way in hell will he prevent the wings from being pushed around.  He is a gritty Hudler who can’t score goals.  What happened to us needing to get bigger per Holland?

Posted by Crow on 07/01/12 at 09:13 PM ET

Avatar

Ms,
Aby was TERRIBLE this year. Didn’t score, didn’t fight, didn’t forecheck hard. He really wasn’t worth more than what he was making and I’ve been cringing at the thought of him making the $2M many people have been anticipating he would be signed at. Not a huge tootoo fan, but not an abdelkader fan either.

Posted by teldar on 07/01/12 at 09:46 PM ET

Avatar

I think I would have rather seen them actually let some of the youngsters play than sign all these mid-priced players and crowd the roster. They could have signed 0 new forwards and brought up nyquist and tatar as far as I was concerned.

Posted by teldar on 07/01/12 at 09:54 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

ScottsO,

It’s nice to see everyone on this blog isn’t goin all chicken little. Totoo is exactly the pest Detroit has been lacking. You don’t need to be 6’3 to forecheck hard and get in the opponents faces all game. How much did Wing fans hate Chelios or Hull before they signed? Not comparing Tootoo to them by any means, but the past is the past; he wears the winged wheel now.

Outside of Helm, who actually forechecked with any nastiness? Abby? Gimme a break. If he sucks, then he’ll be waived to the minors and that’s that. Not over the moon about Sammy, but Paul Gaustad got 3.5 mil, I think we need to look at the context of the FA market before judging that one a failure. This years success boils down to signing Suter anyway…

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 07/01/12 at 10:33 PM ET

Avatar

I hope the Wings management remembers what its like dealing with a player that could relapse into the NHL/NHLPA’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program at any time.

Yandle’s worth is rumored to be a lot. The Oilers were rumored to have offered Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi plus a high draft pick (before the draft). Phoenix flat out turned them down…so I think some people are underestimating what a puck moving defenseman under contract for 5.25M for 4 years capable of 40 point seasons.

Phoenix isn’t actively shopping him, but they are listening and rumored to want a top defensive prospect plus an impact forward.

Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/01/12 at 11:30 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.