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Tootoo returns to Nashville for first time tonight

Feb 19, 2013, 12:06 PM EDT


After spending the first eight years of his career in Nashville, Jordin Tootoo became a favorite among Preds fans.

Tonight, he makes his return to Music City in a polar opposite fashion — as a member of one of Nashville’s fiercest rivals, the Detroit Red Wings.

Tootoo says he’s ready for the challenge.

“I’m just taking it in stride,” he  told the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t know what to expect. It should be an experience in itself. Coming into Nashville, driving in on the bus, everything was a first for me.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of mixed emotions out there. I’m excited.”

Tootoo signed a three-year, $5.7 million deal with the Wings last season and has once again emerged a fan favorite.

His enthusiasm for fighting (four scraps already this year) isn’t something the Red Wings are used to — Detroit finished with the fewest fighting majors (15) in the league last season, and in 2010-11 (with 13), and in 2009-10 (with 19).

Speaking of scraps, it’ll be interesting to see if Tootoo can find a dance partner tonight.

It seems highly likely he and Richard Clune will cross paths at some point — Clune leads the Preds in fights this year, with five, and has fought Tootoo before.

Update: Clune is still nursing a jaw injury and wearing a protective mask, so he might not be so willing to drop ’em.

  1. vshehane - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    There will be lots of Tootoo whistles tonight for Toot’s return. He will always be one of Nashville’s favorites. His reception will be quite different than Suter’s.

    • scionofflame - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Tootoo was left unsigned and picked up a good deal for himself, so yes. Much different than Suter in the eyes of Predators fans.

      I think he’ll get the cheer tonight much like Steve Sullivan got the cheer when he came in with Phoenix. I don’t hold anything against Jordin, and I wish him the best.

  2. fusionix7 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    As a Detroit fan I am glad those whistle’s stayed in Nashville.

    • vshehane - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      I have a feeling they may show up in Detroit.

      • bensawesomeness - Feb 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Please God, No

  3. thehighcountrybear - Feb 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Still can’t believe Nashville let this guy drift…? He’s always willing to go, and he’s a sweet playmaker with subtle hands. Preds are hurting over this loss…without having to fear a heat-seeking missile like Tootoo, liberties are being taken! Smokey mountain pain, keeps fallin’…

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