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Shutemdown

Talking Tootoo

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Hey all!

Been a looooong time since I've posted anything on these boards. I still read posts every morning over coffee, but rarely contribute to the conversation. There is something that has been bothering me lately, though, so I thought I'd post it and see what other people thought.

I read a couple of interviews about Tootoo not too long ago, where Babcock stated that Tootoo was a regular season role-player, but would probably never be used in the playoffs because of his tendency to get physical after the whistle. Tootoo was then interviewed afterwards and seemed kind of disheartened by Babcock's sentiment, but still admitted that he would play any role needed and could understand being sat.

I still don't really understand it though. And it kind of saddens me.

Babcock said that after we move to the East next season, Tootoo might garner more minutes since we will be playing in a more physical division. I understand this, and I agree. However, I was very excited about the Tootoo signing because he is a fast, energy-driven machine on the ice that does far more for the team than just fight. Every time he was on the ice, I noticed him. He was taking shots, finishing checks, and instigating the other team into taking penalties. He showed far more value last season than just that of an enforcer. I just wish he was rewarded for it.

Half of me feels like dressing Tootoo in these past playoffs could've been that edge that we needed. Not only is he a spark plug every shift, but I feel like he would've provided the speed and grit we would've needed to push deeper into the playoffs. Similar to Helm or even Maltby in the past. We need that person to go out and get under their skin a little. Abby tried to fill that role, but took less-timely penalties than Tootoo might've. It's all speculation at this point, I guess.

My last point, and sorry for rambling, is that negatively reinforcing Tootoo's hard work by benching him could make him feel like he has to change his game in order to maintain his TOI, which is EXACTLY WHAT I DON'T WANT. He was playing very well. I hope he continues to play his game the way he does.

Similar to the posts I read on here about "Trade Smith ASAP", I feel that Smith was brought in to be a speedy, puck moving defenseman but has conversely started trying to switch his playstyle because Bab's started benching him or cutting his minutes. I wish we gave our players time to play their own game (which is why we originally brought them into the team), instead of penalizing them for doing exactly that. It sends mixed signals.

Does Tootoo go out next season and play his game the way he likes, or does he go out and try to be a playmaking forward with very little physical presence because he fears getting his minutes cut or getting benched?

Sorry for the long thread for those of you who read the whole thing. :) Thoughts?

TL;DR - Tootoo was benched for our entire playoff run because Babs feared his physical playstyle would hurt us through penalties. I feel like he could have had a positive impact on our playoff run if he had actually been given a chance. Could the Wings have gone further with his help? Will babs benching him affect the way he plays next season, even if that means shedding the physical aspect of his play?

Hockeymom1960 and Rick D like this

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Sadly, I have had a feeling for a few weeks that Tootoo will be bought out and we'll head East with one of the smallest rosters we've ever had. Not that I think Tootoo should be bought out. I posted somewhere I while back his point-per-minute ratio is higher than any other 4th line player and obviously he is the only recognised agitator on the team.

He's a sort of player that is hard to find in the NHL, which is why his cap hit is $1.9m and why players in his same ilk (Chris Neil for example) all command such high salaries.

To sum up my feelings: We need him and we won't be able to get a better player than him for cheaper unless we go for an all out enforcer which isn't ideal given our current roster.

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I don't see him gone unless they include him in a big trade.

He provides something that no one else does. This first season with the team (actually a half season) gave him a chance to see how he fits in and get used to our system. If Babcock wants him to adjust his game (the "after the whistle" thing) he has a chance to do it this year. If he doesn't fit in with what Babcock wants, then maybe he's on the trade block, but I can't see them moving him just because Babs didn't play him one year in the playoffs.

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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Tootoo didn't play in the playoffs with the Predators either. I think he was signed with the idea that he would not always be in the lineup. I really don't see anything that suggests that Tootoo would be bought out.

Wingsfan72 likes this

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Sadly, I have had a feeling for a few weeks that Tootoo will be bought out and we'll head East with one of the smallest rosters we've ever had. Not that I think Tootoo should be bought out. I posted somewhere I while back his point-per-minute ratio is higher than any other 4th line player and obviously he is the only recognised agitator on the team.

He's a sort of player that is hard to find in the NHL, which is why his cap hit is $1.9m and why players in his same ilk (Chris Neil for example) all command such high salaries.

To sum up my feelings: We need him and we won't be able to get a better player than him for cheaper unless we go for an all out enforcer which isn't ideal given our current roster.

tootoo leaving would make our team bigger....

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I don't see him gone unless they include him in a big trade.

He provides something that no one else does. This first season with the team (actually a half season) gave him a chance to see how he fits in and get used to our system. If Babcock wants him to adjust his game (the "after the whistle" thing) he has a chance to do it this year. If he doesn't fit in with what Babcock wants, then maybe he's on the trade block, but I can't see them moving him just because Babs didn't play him one year in the playoffs.

Here's what I don't understand - people who talk about how good Jordin Tootoo could be if he stopped taking dumb minors and learned to "fit into the Wings' system". Huh? Taking dumb minors and agitating the opponent for agitation's sake IS Tootoo's game. He isn't designed to "fit into a system", he's supposed to operate outside of the system to put other teams on edge and prevent them from getting too comfortable.

I was never a fan of Tootoo, but if you happen to be a fan of him, then you can't also expect him to stop running people behind the play and taking gratuitous minors. People forget that Tootoo did play the first game of the Playoffs, then proceeded to take a dumb penalty, which led to a critical goal against. He sat after that. (Actually, it was weak call, but that's part of the point - refs are preconditioned to keep an eye on him b/c of reputation).

The idea that Tootoo (at 5'9") is an "enforcer" who makes the ice safe for our skill players is absurd. Anyone who watched the Red Wings this year could see that, if anything, Tootoo's presence enrages the other team to the point where the overall hostility and chippiness of the game increases. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he wasn't on the ice enough (often 6-10 mins per game) to do much damage.

Tootoo didn't play in the playoffs with the Predators either. I think he was signed with the idea that he would not always be in the lineup. I really don't see anything that suggests that Tootoo would be bought out.

So, compliance buyouts (of which we have two this offseason) can be used on players with an AAV under $3 million? The pre-season buyouts (like the one used on Redden) required a cap hit of over $3 million.

Even so, Tootoo's contract is "bad", but not long enough or expensive enough to cause considerable long-term damage. They might well just have to eat it, or use a traditional buyout and take a reduced cap hit.

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When Toots puts up 30-35pts next year no way they can sit him during playoffs UNlESS he confirms their fears and takes bait and gets some after whistle retalitory penalties.

I would have loved to see more 22 on ice during playoffs.

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Here's what I don't understand - people who talk about how good Jordin Tootoo could be if he stopped taking dumb minors and learned to "fit into the Wings' system". Huh? Taking dumb minors and agitating the opponent for agitation's sake IS Tootoo's game. He isn't designed to "fit into a system", he's supposed to operate outside of the system to put other teams on edge and prevent them from getting too comfortable.

I was never a fan of Tootoo, but if you happen to be a fan of him, then you can't also expect him to stop running people behind the play and taking gratuitous minors. People forget that Tootoo did play the first game of the Playoffs, then proceeded to take a dumb penalty, which led to a critical goal against. He sat after that. (Actually, it was weak call, but that's part of the point - refs are preconditioned to keep an eye on him b/c of reputation).

The idea that Tootoo (at 5'9") is an "enforcer" who makes the ice safe for our skill players is absurd. Anyone who watched the Red Wings this year could see that, if anything, Tootoo's presence enrages the other team to the point where the overall hostility and chippiness of the game increases. Fortunately (or unfortunately), he wasn't on the ice enough (often 6-10 mins per game) to do much damage.

Babcock's specific comment was about him acting after the whistle. Sure we want him to be an agitator, but not one that causes us penalties. He can play his game and just time his actions better. Some coaches like the agitating to go on in the hopes of drawing the other team to take a penalty or losing their concentration.

If Babs wants Toots to keep it between the whistles, he'll adapt. He can still be a hard-hitting, high-energy pest who can throw down when needed.

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great 4th line player. Only problem is for some reason we have a log jam at that position.

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Toots brings an element no other 4th liner for Wings posseses....just wish the dude was a penalty killer as well.

And spot on post 55fan!!!

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1) Tootoo wore out his welcome in Nashville also. Gotta think that if Babcock and Trotz, two of the best, most respected coaches in the NHL are benching him, maybe they know something we don't?

2) We can't use a compliance buyout on him as he makes less than $3M. We could use a regular buyout on him, but I don't the point for a guy who's only got 2 years left at $1.8M

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i wish tootoo would be an everyday 4th liner for us. he hustles as much as helm and gets the crowd going and our team going. hes about one of two guys that will fight on our roster. he did everything that was asked of him last year. him being benched reminded me a lot of tatar getting sent down, as in, the guy that hustles the most gets canned.

we could at least use him during most of our home games next season to get the crowd rolling.

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The guy just doesn't provide anything, he is not an enforcer just an agitator and not a very good hockeyplayer. Rather have a real enforcer and another fourth line guy, didn't like the signing back then and for sure not liking it one year after.

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The guy just doesn't provide anything, he is not an enforcer just an agitator and not a very good hockeyplayer. Rather have a real enforcer and another fourth line guy, didn't like the signing back then and for sure not liking it one year after.

I see you ignored my point about his point production compared to the other 4th liners. To say "the guy doesn't provide anything" makes me question how long you've been watching the sport of hockey, and why you do so.

Baffling what some people come out with sometimes on here.

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I see you ignored my point about his point production compared to the other 4th liners. To say "the guy doesn't provide anything" makes me question how long you've been watching the sport of hockey, and why you do so.

Baffling what some people come out with sometimes on here.

I can say whatever I want and no I THINK he doesn't provide much, there are obviously other fourth line guys outthere who not only provide more but are also feared fighters.

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My feeling is that Tootoo isn't physical enough to make a significant difference in the lineup. While dropping the gloves at the opening faceoff may settle a personal score for him and rile up the fans, it does nothing for the team. He isn't out there playing physical every single shift like he needs to. Its maybe one shift a game, and he doesn't do enough other things well to play that way. When he needed to have statement games and get the team going with a big hit, like the Saturday afternoon game against Columbus when the team was totally flat and shut out, or the Sunday afternoon game when the Blackhawks were pummeling the Wings, Tootoo was no where to be found.

I don't feel like Babcock was ever on board with the Tootoo signing and I agree that the Preds wouldn't have let him go for no reason. They put a lot of time and money into him while he was going through his personal issues. It doesn't make sense that once he finally got it together personally that they would let him walk.

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I can say whatever I want and no I THINK he doesn't provide much, there are obviously other fourth line guys outthere who not only provide more but are also feared fighters.

Never said you couldn't. And you didn't say he doesn't provide "much," you said "anything" implying no contribution of any kind to the Wings season for both the team and the fans.

There are not many feared fighters who are both 4th line players and also point producers. Those that exist cost more than Tootoo.

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This season was pretty strange for Tootoo. I thought he played great in the first half of the games, there was even talk of throwing him on a line with Datsyuk before the whole Abdelkader line came about.

Then he started getting benched a lot and Babcock seemed to lose trust in him. I've heard from someone who used to play with him on the Preds that he's not the nicest guy in the locker room, and I wonder if his attitude has something to do with it? Just speculation, nothing more.

Anyway, I agree with the OP and others, he is an effective player and I wish he'd get a bit more of a chance. I really hope Helm comes back healthy next season, and I would love to see them on a line together, along with one of the speedy youngsters.

Edited by hooon

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This organization is not willing to play players like Tootoo for any significant period of time or years. Scrappy 4th liners or enforcers typically don't make our roster, or only play a season or so. That's how it was with Downey and May.

Tootoo is better offensively than those players, but I see him suffering the same fate.

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This isn't the '80s anymore. With the salary cap and the way the game is played now, there just isn't room on a roster for one dimensional players. As someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, Tootoo isn't exactly a figher or an enforcer, he's more of a pest. But he needs to bring more to the table than that. He needs to score more, be good defensively, a good penalty killer, dominate on faceoffs, just something else. Taking penalties at inopportune times doesn't help any either.

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This isn't the '80s anymore. With the salary cap and the way the game is played now, there just isn't room on a roster for one dimensional players. As someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, Tootoo isn't exactly a figher or an enforcer, he's more of a pest. But he needs to bring more to the table than that. He needs to score more, be good defensively, a good penalty killer, dominate on faceoffs, just something else. Taking penalties at inopportune times doesn't help any either.

I don't remember him taking any more dumb penalties than Smith, Quincey or Abdelkader. What are these penalties that Tootoo took this season? I don't remember him costing us too many games.

He's not one-dimensional either. Look at his career numbers and then look at Tony Twist's or Stu Grimson's. How is Tootoo one-dimensional? He fights and he lays good bodychecks. Scores as many points as most 4th liners in the league. What is he not doing right?

I feel like there's too many posters here who look at all 4th line fighters as being in the same basket. Too much stereotyping.

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I don't understand how or why Tootoo should be bought out. He did exactly what was expected of him. Also, the "one-dimensional" argument baffles me. He put up 8 points in 42 games. For comparison, Emmerton put up 8 in 48. When I think of one-dimensional players, I think of John Scott and Jody Shelley. And the notion that "he takes stupid penalties" is laughable, considering guys like Smith and Abdelkader have, on several occasions, taken idiotic penalties at the worst possible times during games. Don't remember Tootoo blowing any games for us.

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Im not sure the RW org wants or cares if we have a player sticking up for teammates.

Tootoo was obviously neutered in a lot of games and imo that came from coaching or Toots simply saw the writing on the wall....you can play like ur ballz are on fire but better not get a penalty cuz youll sit.

Im not sure Tootoo can fully display and play his game here which is sad because its effective.

Has to suck to want to win an help your team and do everything we signed him for but then he sits.

Im confident he will have a coulple dozen pts next season but unfortunatey we have seen even when guys produce, it doesnt earn them a spot or minutes...TAtar.

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How long ago did Tony Twist and Stu Grimson play?

Tootoo isn't a fighter. He's an agitator. He doesn't hit enough, he doesn't drop the gloves very often, he doesn't stick up for his team mates, he's not big enough to scare anyone. If he had done what he was brought here to do, he would have been in the lineup in the playoffs.

As I mentioned before, the Preds invested a ton of time and money into Tootoo when he was going through his alcohol and other problems. Why would they let him walk away for nothing, and let him sit during the playoffs also?

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