DETROIT — The Wings jumped on Jordin Tootoo once free agency opened last offseason and inked the forward to a three-year deal adding an agitator with a bit of an offensive upside for the first time in a number of seasons.
Due to his agitating abilities, Tootoo landed on Sports Illustrated’s list of Top 10 Most Hated Players in the NHL, slotting in at No. 8.
“Part of my job is to create havoc out there and get under people’s skin,” Tootoo said after Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Kings. “You’re bought into this league to do a certain thing. It just goes to show that I’m doing my job.”
Tootoo leads the team with 30 minutes in penalties and four fighting majors.
“It’s part of being a role player,” Tootoo said. “Everyone has roles on the team and that’s what brings 22 guys together. It’s the little things that count. Maybe your average fans might not know it but the guys in the dressing room realize that’s a big part of the game.
“It’s a work in progress,” Tootoo continued. “It doesn’t matter how many minutes you play, you want to do your job and help the team win. Throughout my career, I’ve been a notable player to do that. It takes a little bit of a skill, a little bit of heart and willpower. I’m not the biggest player out there.”
Montreal’s P.K. Subban tops the list. Others on the list include Chicago’s Daniel Carcillo, Phoenix’s Raffi Torres and Vancouver’s Alex Burrows.
Here’s what SI’s Allan Muir wrote, “Tootoo earned his shot in the NHL as a high-energy winger who could send a message with a thundering body check. He’s since gained a reputation as a careless player, someone who’ll hit too high, too low or too late. He’s been suspended multiple times, most recently for running Ryan Miller.”