What Happened To Tootoo?

DETROIT - MARCH 14: Jordin Tootoo #22 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on March 14, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Wings defeated the Predators 4-2. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
(Photo Source: Yardbarker.com)

 

Jordin Tootoo…Where have you gone?  I can clearly recall going to games before the arena was filled with your obnoxiously fantastic whistles.  You were a mighty terror.  Sure your shifts were short, but they were filled with more intense energy than I had ever seen from one of our players.  I remember – you’d jump over the boards, lock-on to your target, and charge full bore to try and blast them into the glass.  It was truly a sight to be seen.  You instilled fear into our opponents that knocked them off their game and put them on tilt, which meant a huge advantage for the rest of our team.  Jordin, do you remember when you laid out Mike Modano, only to follow it up with a clean straight right to the face of a charging Stephane Robidas?  That is exactly the kind of Jordin Tootoo intensity that I haven’t seen in a while, and I’d like it to reappear this year. 

 Ok, so maybe Tootoo has been battling nagging injuries for a while and hasn’t been a true 100 percent.  If that’s the case, I forgive him and invite him to blow me away with awe-inspiring play this season.  But I think the more likely scenario is that he has convinced himself he can be more than a 3rd or 4th line grinder and is trying to do things differently and step out of his comfort zone.  If that is true, I’d like to cite Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn as an example of why not to learn how to throw a curveball and pitch for endurance when 3 outs worth of 100 mph heaters is why you earn your money.  Jordin Tootoo is truly a top tier, if not the league’s best agitator (when he is performing).  Sure, the occasional goal or assist is fantastic, but it’s not why the team has decided to extend his contract for another two years.  

I’ve heard it from fans and had this discussion plenty of times.  I know that Jordin Tootoo is evolving into a smarter, more experienced player.  I think it’s great that he’s not taking stupid penalties that could be potential game-breakers.  BUT…while evolving into a smarter, more efficient player, he can’t lose his true identity if he wants to remain relevant.  I seriously doubt the Predators marketing department would have deemed it appropriate to sell $7 whistles named after one of their 15-20 point 4th liners unless there was something special about him.  Will he be able to dig deep and find the energy that once made him a player to be feared this season? 

 I don’t want anyone to think that I’m bashing Jordin Tootoo, because I’m not.  In my mind, he is one of the greatest Nashville Predators of all time.  The Preds have never been a big budget team full of major talent.  We have always been a team full of dedicated, hard working, and talented young players just like Tootoo.  He truly embodies what our team is all about.  But I really hope he reestablishes himself this year.  I’d hate to see him get waived near the end of his contract and get no takers only to become a career American league player.  

 Come on #22!  Play like the old #14 or #55 and you’ll be fine.

Topics: 14, 22, 55, Jordin Tootoo, Tootoo

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  • Pred Head

    I agree! Bring back the old Tootoo!

  • DFash

    Ban the Tootoo whistles. They’re every bit as annoying as the vuvuzelas.

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  • darren yelton

    The coaches told Toots they expected more production, that being an instigator wasn’t enough anymore. I’ve also noticed that he’s lost some of his edge, but I think the coaches caused it.

  • Dan

    I’m going to be a complete jerk here and say this it type of story that makes supporters from other cities think that Nashville fans still don’t understand hockey. The fact that you want him to play more like the time he gave a ‘straight right to the face of a charging Stephane Robidas’ is a pretty good indication you know s_ _ t about hockey. Hockey is a mans sport not for cowards who go around sucker punching players and swing sticks at other that he is to big of a coward to fight toe to toe. If anything Tootoo got slightly better by avoiding his sideshow tactics.

    • Predhead

      Dan, there are so many things I find wrong with your post, not including the run-on sentences and grammatical errors (seriously, if you’re going to take a holier than thou attitude at least TRY to sound intelligent).

      First, I find it ignorant of you to assume that just because one is from Nashville one cannot understand hockey. Your use of the word, “still” is beyond insulting. Just because the Preds are a newer team does not mean their fans are all new to hockey. Last time I checked we had quite a few Detroit transplants, those are our token Pred-Wingers, they know their stuff.

      Second, hockey is a “man’s” sport? Yeah, women play the sport as well. No need to be a pig.

      Last, what kind of fool calls Tootoo a coward? You claim he is too wimpy to fight toe-to-toe… have you ever actually watched a Pred’s game? Or are you simply talking out your ass?

  • Nathan T. Harper

    Dan. Dan, Dan, Dan. Go back and look at the video. Robidas was clearly charging Tootoo, and I’m sure it wasn’t just to shake hands. Robidas’ goal was definitely to lay ole Toots out. To be clear, I’m not saying Tootoo needs to skate around mindlessly and blow people up. All I want to see is a little more intensity. He can be productive offensively and still skate with the fire he once had. If he manages to find some of his old internal flame, more production will follow which should satisfy the coaching staff. It’s not going to happen with him skating around trying to be that 50 point guy. Dan, I’m sure you are Canadian and that is why you feel it necessary to bash Nashvillians. I hope it makes you feel better about your obvious hockey supremacy. There is a reason why women’s softball gets better ratings than hockey when they go head to head on television. It’s because holier-than-thou fans like you scare off the casual fans. It’s the casual fans that the NHL does not have and will ultimately need to survive as a viable top-tier sports league. Dan, my advice is take it easy man. At the end of the day, hockey is a game and there is absolutely no reason to insult an entire city of dedicated hockey fans. If you don’t believe that Nashvillians know their hockey, come visit our stadium and hopefully you will find out. If you do come to a game, let me know and I’d be happy to buy you a beer to welcome you to the city.

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