The Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Jordin Tootoo on waivers to make way for a compliance buyout. This is the second and final compliance buyout for Detroit, who bought out Carlo Colaiacovo last season.
DET puts Jordin Tootoo on buyout waivers.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 18, 2014
The Red Wings attempted to trade Tootoo for the majority of the 2013-14 season and demoted him to the AHLs Grand Rapid Griffins. Even with the Red Wings lineup decimated by injuries, Tootoo appeared in just 11 games with Detroit this season, registering one point. Tootoo appeared in 51 games with the Griffins, registering 18 points (6G 12A).
Tootoo signed a 3 Year / $5.7 Million deal in June of 2012. With the Detroit Red Wings being a puck possession team, Tootoo had difficulty finding a place for his hard hitting / energetic style of play. The Red Wings also look for their third and fourth liners to contribute to special teams, something Tootoo was unable to do.
It would be a waste for the Red Wings and Jordin Tootoo to keep him buried in the AHL, and it is clear a roster spot is not available for him in Detroit, so a compliance buyout is the best thing for both parties.
While it would be unlikely that Tootoo would be able to equal his career best 30 point season with the Nashville Predators in 2011-12, given a chance with a better fit, Tootoo could make for a value third / fourth line singing. It is likely that teams looking for a energetic player that can bring strong play to their forecheck will be interested in making a run at Tootoo.
Though it is not directly related to the buyout news, the following video of Tootoo making a young fan’s day in Grand Rapids has been shared on social media today. Tootoo is the type of player you won’t like if he isn’t on your team, but this quick clip shows another side of Tootoo.
The news of Tootoo’s buyout comes on the heels of the announcement that the Boston Bruins would not look to resign forward Shawn Thornton this off season. This could be the signal that team’s are moving away from having designated “tough guys” on the roster and are placing a higher value on offensive ability that toughness. It used to be that the fourth line was regarded as the heavy hitting “checking line”. Now teams want their fourth line to be just as much of an offensive threat as the first. This is going to make it tough for players like Tootoo and Thornton to find spots on NHL rosters.