Welp, weren’t we all thrown for a loop? One move we did not see coming came from Jordin Tootoo himself. Tootoo chose to accept the Detroit Red Wings’ three-year, $1.9 million contract after turning down Nashville’s almost identical offer.
When Tootoo decided to turn down the Predators’ offer, it was clear he was letting everyone know his distaste in being benched late in the past season. Of course, as a free agent, Toots was given free range to dip his feet in other franchises’ waters, but when TSN announced Jordin Tootoo’s decision, all of Nashville went silent, as jaws hit the floor.
Detroit. He chose Detroit.
Not Vancouver, not Anaheim, not Chicago (granted, we aren’t sure if these teams even offered him anything, but he admitted three other teams made him offers). Detroit.
His decision to head North to Nashville’s rival “big brother” can be seen in many, many different lights. Either Nashville’s “sizable” three-year contract was bogus or Jordin Tootoo just made it very, very clear to Nashville and its fans he was an unhappy camper by giving them a big middle finger.
It’s hard for us to believe that, after everything Nashville has done for Toots (along with vise versa for what he’s done for Nashville), the enforcer would up and leave to, of all the teams, the Predators’ biggest rival just because he was benched for the later half of the season.
“It’s definitely a great opportunity to put on that Red Wings jersey and play for an Original Six team,” Tootoo stated on a conference call with the Red Wings. This whole sentence feels like, in essence, a knife digging deeper into the backs of the Predators and its fans. Playing for an Original Six team is truly a great feeling for an NHL player but, again, it comes down to which team he ultimately signed with and its history with Nashville.
Although we ultimately have to thank Jordin Tootoo for all that he did for the city of Nashville, we can’t help but refer back to his final ‘Tootoo on 2’ video. The whole “only wanting to hold the Cup in Nashville” and “Nashville is my home”; was that all a lie just to warm our little hearts?
In the end, Toots has signed the papers and is on his way to Detroit, wiping his hands of Nashville for good. Toots, of all people, should know, Predators fans don’t take players leaving on bad terms easily (ask Dan Hamhuis). If he had chosen to go to any other team, Predators fans should be more than happy to cheer for the enforcer when he returned to play against Nashville. However, since he will be wearing red and white, Toots better prepare for the Tootoo whistles to be chucked at him. Nashville and Detroit open the 2012-13 in Motor City on October 12th at 6:30PM.
Good luck in Detroit, Jordin… but don’t expect fans to welcome you back with open arms.
(Photo courtesy of Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)