Coach weighs in on the toughness debate and compares TooToo to Downey, McCarty and Drake.
The Wings see Tootoo as someone who can help them regain their footing after last year's especially disappointing showing in the playoffs, when they lost in the first round to Tootoo's Predators. Tootoo, who turns 30 on Feb. 2, isn't a big-minutes guy, but it's what he does with those minutes he is on the ice that they like. Babcock sees Tootoo as the same type of player the Wings had on their most recent Stanley Cup winning team, in 2008, when Dallas Drake and Darren McCarty roamed the ice and Aaron Downey was on reserve.
"When we won the Cup last, we had great toughness on our team," Babcock said. "Dallas Drake hunted you down, and we had Mac and we had Downs. We had lots of grit. We haven't been near as gritty since. We're not talking about guys to stop and fight at stoppages, we're talking about guys who will get on you and forecheck and make people nervous. He always made us nervous."