Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jordin Tootoo the tattoo artist

The cringing just might cease.
That was, sadly, the expression of choice when watching the Red Wings’ in the playoffs.
A highly skilled team, the Wings seemed to get nailed time and time again by the opposing team.
Nailed and nailed, hammered and hammered. What is this, a hockey game or a membership meeting of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters?
Guys took runs at the Red Wings all of the time.
Most of those runs were never returned.
Enter Tootoo the Tattoo.

Jordin Tootoo (left) battles Sean Avery of the New York Rangers.

A couple of days ago, the Red Wings signed the 29-year-old Tootoo, who had played his entire eight-season NHL career in Nashville.
“Obviously we’ve played against him,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s hard, he’s physical, and we think he can help the bottom six by providing some energy and physicality along with Darren Helm. We’re trying to get some more edge to the bottom six and he’ll do that.”
Don’t get me wrong; I love the Red Wings. I just could not stand the way they got continually turned into steak tartare once the physical stuff started.
Tootoo played 486 games for the Predators. He racked up 725 career penalty minutes and 125 points.
“I think I bring a special element to the game that no other player does,” Tootoo told Bill Roose, the managing editor of “For me, my foundation is being a physical presence out there, but at the same time I know that I can contribute offensively. It’s all about opportunities, and for me I know it’s not going to be given. I have to work every day to become a better professional both on and off the ice, and at this point in my career I believe I’m in the prime and I’m ready to take on challenges that arise.”
In recent years, the Wings and Predators have built a heated rivalry. Nashville eliminated the Red Wings in this year’s playoffs. Tootoo always seemed to be at the forefront of the rivalry.
While Tootoo is definitely a tough guy, he is not an NHL heavyweight. The game has changed. This move doesn’t resurrect the Bob Probert-Joey Kocur days. But Tootoo is definitely a difficult guy to play against. He’ll leave a welt in the corner. He’ll provide both a contusion and an abrasion in front of the net.
He’s a guy the Red Wings have needed for quite some time. You call him Jordin Tootoo. Me, I’m going with Jordin Tattoo.


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