After Parise and Suter signed with Minnesota, I started re-evaluating the team's chances of success next season and started my evaluation with the other players that Detroit signed: backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, right-winger Mikael Samuelsson and right-winger Jordin Tootoo.
The player that stands out the most among those three is Jordin Tootoo.
Tootoo brings plenty of desirable qualities back to the Red Wings that they seemed to have lacked in recent years. Here are four things Tootoo will bring to the Red Wings this season.
Jordin Tootoo had 151 hits last season with Nashville.
After the train whistle that all the Predators fans blew every time he touched the puck, Tootoo is most notable for his hits.
Tootoo brings energy and excitement to the lineup out of a third-line position.
Jordin Tootoo only had five fighting majors last season, but he can sure swing for the fences when he decides to do so.
Tootoo stands only 5'9" and 199 pounds, so he reminds me a bit of a cross between Darren Helm and Darren McCarty with his low center of gravity.
Tootoo's ability to drop the gloves at any time (despite being pushed around a little bit in the process) as well as his ability to "stir the pot" can come in handy when his team needs it most.
Tootoo is only 5'9" and only 199 pounds, but the scrappy forward knows how to get to the net and make players (especially goalies) notice him.
Doing things like running over Ryan Miller make goaltenders pay attention to Tootoo more and he can use this effectively as he tries to replace the one of the best net-front presences of all time (and possibly soon-to-be-retired), Tomas Holmstrom.
Tootoo will put his offensive talents to work on the third line and could be a contributor on the power play if the Red Wings need to replace Holmstrom's net-front presence.
Tootoo popped in six goals and 30 points last season.
Combine that with his hits and his smack talking on the ice and you can see why Detroit needs Tootoo this coming season.
The knock on the Red Wings is that they are too small sometimes and they don't hit enough.
Tootoo completely changes the game in that regard, and he is a player that the other team needs to account for at all times.
He won't score on you all the time, but he will pick a bone with an opposition player and start getting under the skin of the target until they either leave the ice or take a penalty.
Tootoo is an energy player and he is exactly what Detroit needed this offseason.
I'm not going out on a limb and saying he's more important to sign than Parise or Suter (trust me he isn't), but I am saying that Detroit is still in an excellent position with Tootoo joining the Red Wings for at least the next couple years.
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