One Detroit Red Wings forward who may be on his way out of town is Jordin Tootoo, but the recent rumors of a trade that would send him back to the Nashville Predators make little sense. While Tootoo’s relatively small contract and skill set make him one of the few expendable players other teams might be interested in, it’s hard to see where the veteran agitator would fit in with his old team. Like the Red Wings, the Predators have more than their fair share of forwards signed for next season, and while bringing back a fan favorite like Tootoo might be appealing, it is not the right move.
Tootoo managed only three goals and five points for the Red Wings last season, and while he led the team with 78 penalty minutes he was criticized as most of those came from “staged” or unnecessary fights. Once the playoffs rolled around, Tootoo found himself watching from the press box as there just wasn’t a place for him in the lineup. There’s still a good chance he gets dealt before training camp, but the Predators should not be interested.
Last season the Predators signed young forward Rich Clune off waivers, and he more than filled Tootoo’s shoes. Clune score four goals and had nine points while leading the team with 113 penalty minutes. He recently earned a two-year extension, which would make one thing the Predators already have the agitator/enforcer role filled. In addition to Clune, the Predators signed forward Nick Spaling to an extension and brought in free agent forwards Viktor Stalberg, Matt Cullen, Matt Hendricks and Eric Nystrom. Tootoo is set to make $1.9 million this season, and it doesn’t make sense for the Predators to bring in another forward they really don’t have room for. To keep Tootoo, the Predators would have to move a forward, and taking a non-prospect forward back in trade would defeat the purpose of this deal on the Red Wings end.