Jordin Tootoo

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Jordin Tootoo
Tootoo Red Wings 2013 01 21.jpg
Tootoo warming up during 2012-13 NHL season with his current team, the Detroit Red Wings.
Born (1983-02-02) February 2, 1983 (age 31)
Churchill, MB, CAN
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 199 lb (90 kg; 14 st 3 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Free Agent
Nashville Predators
Detroit Red Wings
NHL Draft 98th overall, 2001
Nashville Predators
Playing career 2003–present

Jordin John Kudluk Tootoo (Inuktitut: ᔪᐊᑕᓐ ᑐᑐ;[1] born February 2, 1983) is a Canadian professional hockey player, who is currently an Unrestricted Free Agent of the National Hockey League (NHL). Tootoo has previously played for the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings. Of Inuit and Ukrainian descent, he is both the first Inuk player and the first player to grow up in Nunavut to participate in an NHL game.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Tootoo in 2010 with Nashville

Nashville Predators[edit]

Tootoo played Bantam AA hockey in Spruce Grove, Alberta. The Brandon Wheat Kings selected him in the 3rd round of the 1998 WHL Bantam Draft. Tootoo played for the Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 1999 to 2003 and was selected 98th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft as the sixth choice of the Nashville Predators. He became the first player of Inuit descent to play in a regular season NHL game when he suited up against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on Opening Night October 9, 2003. He was also the first person of Inuit descent to be drafted by an NHL team. Tootoo wears the number '22' as a play on words of his name.[2]

Tootoo got his first NHL point with an assist on a Dan Hamhuis goal against the St. Louis Blues on October 16, 2003 and scored his first NHL goal against the Atlanta Thrashers on October 23. Tootoo has also earned two "Gordie Howe hat tricks"—on January 10, 2004, and December 8, 2007—when he notched a goal, an assist, and a fighting major in each game.

He spent the 2005–06 season between the Nashville Predators and the Predators' minor league affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, where he played during the 2004–05 NHL lockout. On July 21, 2006 he was re-signed by the Predators to a two-year contract. On January 31, 2008, he was re-signed to another two-year contract extension.

Tootoo scored his first playoff goal on April 10, 2008, against the Detroit Red Wings in the second period of Game 1 of the 2008 Western Conference Quarter Finals in a 3-1 loss.

Detroit Red Wings[edit]

Tootoo was designated an unrestricted free agent after the 2011-12 season. He signed a three-year, $5.7 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville's Central Division rival on July 1, 2012.[3] He scored his first goal as a Red Wing against his former team, the Predators on February 19, 2013.

On June 18, 2014, the Red Wings placed Tootoo on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a compliance buyout.[4]

Suspensions and disciplinary issues[edit]

Tootoo has faced NHL disciplinary action on multiple occasions for his actions. On March 17, 2007, Tootoo punched defenceman Stéphane Robidas of the Dallas Stars in the face during a game. Robidas was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion. Two days later the NHL issued Tootoo a five-game suspension without pay, and accusations of "dirty" play were leveled. These accusations were resurrected after an incident on October 11, 2007, in which Tootoo hit the head of Daniel Winnik of the Phoenix Coyotes with his shoulder.[5]

On December 6, 2011, the NHL again suspended Tootoo, this time for two games, as a result of a charging incident against Buffalo Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller in a game played on December 3, 2011.[6] The incident occurred after Nashville's own GM, David Poile, publicly supported league action to prevent such hits on goaltenders.[6]

Columbus Blue Jackets' forward Derek Dorsett accused Tootoo of throwing a sucker punch at him during a game on February 20, 2013.[7] "(But) that's just Jordin Tootoo. You expect those kind of things from him." said Dorsett. "Tootoo was just being himself, being the cheap player that he is and coming in swinging. In my eyes, that should be a suspension. Those are the type of things that they're trying to get out of the game. But he's an irrelevant player, so it doesn't even matter."[7]

Personal life[edit]

Jordin Tootoo's older brother Terence played for the Roanoke Express of the ECHL in the 2001–02 season. Terence had a successful junior career with the OCN Blizzard, and was named the Express' Rookie of the Year.[8] In August 2002, Terence committed suicide at the age of 22, in the wake of an arrest for drunk driving.[9]

Tootoo's middle name, Kudluk, means "thunder" in Inuktitut.[10] Jordin's mother Rose is of Ukrainian descent, while his father Barney is an Inuk from Nunavut.[11]

He is the paternal nephew of Manitoba Legislative Assembly Speaker George Hickes and cousin to Nunavut Legislative Assembly Speaker Hunter Tootoo. Both are members of the Canadian New Democratic Party.

Although born in Manitoba, Tootoo grew up in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut,[12] where he was taught to skate and play hockey by his father.[13] Growing up in Rankin Inlet also allowed Tootoo to learn the traditional Inuit lifestyle that includes hunting and camping.[2]

As the first Inuk[2] to play in the National Hockey League he has become a role model for youth in Nunavut.[14][15]

On December 27, 2010, Tootoo voluntarily entered the NHL/NHLPA's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program to receive treatment for an alcohol problem.[16] Following successful completion of the program, he returned to finish the season and play in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.

In 2013 Stephen Brunt mentioned on radio that he is working on a book with Tootoo.[17]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Silver 2003 Canada

Tootoo represented Canada at the 2003 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, where he recorded two goals and one assist in six games, and won a silver medal.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 45 6 10 16 214
2000–01 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 60 20 28 48 172 6 2 4 6 18
2001–02 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 64 32 39 71 272 16 4 3 7 58
2002–03 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 51 35 39 74 216 17 6 3 9 49
2003–04 Nashville Predators NHL 70 4 4 8 137 5 0 0 0 4
2004–05 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 59 10 12 22 266 6 0 0 0 41
2005–06 Nashville Predators NHL 34 4 6 10 55 3 0 0 0 0
2005–06 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 41 13 14 27 133 15 9 2 11 35
2006–07 Nashville Predators NHL 65 3 6 9 116 4 0 1 1 21
2007–08 Nashville Predators NHL 63 11 7 18 100 6 2 0 2 4
2008–09 Nashville Predators NHL 72 4 12 16 124
2009–10 Nashville Predators NHL 51 6 10 16 40 6 0 1 1 2
2010–11 Nashville Predators NHL 54 8 10 18 61 12 1 5 6 28
2011–12 Nashville Predators NHL 77 6 24 30 92 3 0 0 0 4
2012–13 Detroit Red Wings NHL 42 3 5 8 78 1 0 0 0 2
2013–14 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 51 6 12 18 104 4 0 1 1 4
2013–14 Detroit Red Wings NHL 11 0 1 1 5
NHL totals 539 49 85 134 808 40 3 7 10 65

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2003 Canada WJC Silver medal icon.svg 6 2 1 3 4
Junior totals 6 2 1 3 4

Awards[edit]

  • Rookie of the Year, Most Popular Player, and Scholastic Player of the Year honors with the OCN Blizzard in 1998-99.
  • Nominated as Manitoba's Sportsman of the Year for 2000.
  • WHL Player of the Month for December, 2001.
  • WHL Player of the Week for the week of December 23–30, 2001.
  • Played in the 2001 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
  • Hardest shot in the 2001 Top Prospects Skills Evaluation (96.1 mph).
  • WHL Player of the Week for the week of November 11–17, 2002.
  • National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, 2002 Youth Award.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]