Tootoo ready to show he belongs in Detroit; he’ll skate on a line with Bertuzzi and Sheahan

DETROIT — Jordin Tootoo’s chance to remain in Detroit begins tonight against the Calgary Flames .

“You can’t take it as a negative,” Tootoo send about being placed on waivers by the Wings on Nov. 6 and then getting assigned to Grand Rapids after clearing. “For me personally I’ve been through a lot of crap throughout my career so this was just another bump in the road.

“Hopefully this time around I can really make a mark and solidify my spot on this team,” Tootoo added. “That being said, it’s got to be one shift at a time and one day at a time.”

Tootoo was recalled from Grand Rapids on Wednesday and will skate on a line with Todd Bertuzzi and Riley Sheahan.

“To win hockey games it’s got to take 20 guys in the dressing room,” Tootoo said. “For me it’s about creating emotion out there, energy and moving my feet. It’s not a lot to ask for, but when you play that role you have to use every shift to your full advantage and try and make a mark right off the bat.”

The Wings are winless in their last six, going 0-4-2.

“The first five minutes, first couple of shifts, for me will be key,” Tootoo said. “I need to keep my feet grounded and just get back in the swing of things.”

Tootoo, 30, was a salary-cap and roster size casualty, along with Patrick Eaves and Cory Emmerton. He was assigned to the Griffins on Nov. 14.

Tootoo played in 12 games with the Griffins, scoring a goal to go with three assists. He also had 23 penalty minutes.

“I love the game so much,” Tootoo said. “Coming to the rink every day for me is fun. When you have a job you can enjoy and wake up every morning and be around the boys it’s a lot of fun. That’s basically it. Self-pride, being committed and determined to do whatever it takes to win hockey games.”

Tootoo has played in eight games this season and has yet to record a point and is a minus-4. In 50 career games in Detroit he has three goals, five assists and 83 penalty minutes.

He has one more year left on a three-year deal that pays him $1.9 million a season.

Tootoo’s name was bantered about this offseason as possibly heading back to Nashville in a trade that would help Detroit free up cap space and trim its roster down.

Tootoo played in just one of the Wings’ 14 playoff games last season. He was also a healthy scratch in six of the final 23 games in the regular season a year ago, registering three goals, five assists and a team-high 78 penalties in 42 games in his first season in Detroit.

Despite it being a lockout-shortened 48-game regular season, Tootoo registered his highest total of fighting majors, eight, since totaling 10 in the 2008-09 season with Nashville.


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