Wings place Tootoo on waivers; could pave way for Nyquist’s return

DETROIT – Jordin Tootoo got the, “It’s not you it’s me,” speech from the Detroit Red Wings after practice Wednesday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

The Wings placed the pesky right winger on waivers.

“This is the situation here, we have too many right wingers,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re not giving him a fair opportunity. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s played hard. He’s been a good teammate. He’s done all those things right. We’ll see what happens.”

If he’s not claimed by noon Thursday the plan is to assign him to Grand Rapids.

If he’s unclaimed it’ll free up $925,000 from the salary cap.

“If Toot’s can get himself a place to play, where he gets to play every night that’s fantastic, good for him,” Babcock said. “If not, we’ll talk to him tomorrow and we’ll figure out what we’re doing here tomorrow.”

Tootoo, who has played in eight games this season and has yet to record a point, has one more year left on a three-year deal that paid him $1.9 million a season.

“It’s just a numbers game,” Babcock said. “That’s reality. I think Toot’s is a good man, good teammate and a good player.”

Tootoo began the year on injured reserve with a bruised shoulder.

The move could also help get Gustav Nyquist back in a Wings uniform.

The move to send Nyquist down to Grand Rapids was an unpopular one, but he also got caught up in a numbers games.

Nyquist, who has a cap it of $950,000, didn’t have to clear waivers to be assigned to Grand Rapids. However, if he plays two more NHL games he will lose that exemption.

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