I honestly thought Tootoo would be a regular for the Wings, it wouldnt suprise me to see him traded in the offseason, expecially if he is riding the bench.
I don't see that. Tootoo brings energy to the garden-variety games. They need someone to ramp it up and bring extra spark on the average Tuesday in February against the Panthers (or equally boring game where it's hard to get psyched up, but we still need the two points).
No one needs motivation to get ramped up during the playoffs.
Regular season games need a player with some edge and energy. During the playoffs, everyone has edge and energy.
If we had faced a team of dirty players out there pile-driving our players and getting away with it, Toots would be out there to "keep the flies off". As it is, despite some questionable hits from other teams which may or may not have been called, no one is out banging Z's head into anything as time expires.
If that sort of thing happens, and the guys who are on the ice can't handle it, then bring Tootoo in for one game to sort things out.
During the regular season, you need to send a message to all of the other teams that you won't stand for such things. During the playoffs, you battle one team at a time, and react to what that particular team is doing at that particular time.
At this point, the Hawks haven't been doing anything that requires getting a fighter out there, and the Wings, aside from being gassed in game 1, haven't needed the extra energy.
For all we know, he's being like Downey in 2008 and providing the on-going encouragement during practice and down-times, and being the team's positive cheer-leader and motivator, as well as providing depth in the event of injury.
Side note from Hamsterland: Yes, Andrew is the full name of Drew. The late, great hamster (who died the day the playoffs started) was addressed as Drew, as is the man on the ice who recently scored a goal.
Money on the board: Current total: $6
$1 for a goal by any current Wing after whom I have named a hamster. An additional $5 for a series-clinching goal scored by any current Wing after whom I have named a hamster. $5 if the other team fails to score against a current Wing goalie after whom I have named a hamster.
Hamsters I have had: (current Wings highlighted)
Henrik Pavel Tomas Nicklas Dominik
Niklas Matthew Daniel Robert
Johan Andreas Valtteri Jonathan
Andrew Patrick Ian Todd
Jordin Damien Gustav James