Tootoo a possible amnesty buyout for Wings … not Frazen

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have one amnesty buyout left before it expires and they just may use it this offseason.

But it won’t be on the player many feel they should be using it for … Johan Franzen.

If they do intend to us it, that player most likely will be Jordin Tootoo.

“Toots doesn’t want to be in the American (Hockey) League,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during the Wings’ locker cleanout at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday. “We don’t want him to be in the American Hockey League.”

Holland said he has spoken with Tootoo’s agent, Kevin Epp, about that possibility.

“I think at the end of the day, there was a little bit of interest in Toots prior to the trade deadline,” Holland said. “Toots has done everything we could have asked of him in the AHL. He hasn’t complained. He’s been a good foot solider.”

Tootoo has one year left on a three-year deal worth $1.9 million. He would receive two-thirds of the deal (roughly $1.27 million) spread out over the next two seasons.

If the Wings choose that route to go with Tootoo they won’t suffer any cap penalties.

In two seasons with Detroit, Tootoo has played in 53 games with three goals and six assists and 83 penalty minutes.

He was assigned to Grand Rapids in mid-November after clearing waivers. He was recalled in March and played one more game in Detroit.

With the Griffins he has six goals and 12 assists in 51 games. He has appeared in one of their first round playoff games this season.

“I don’t know if we’re going to buy him out, but I don’t think it’s fair to Toots and from the business standpoint,” Holland said. “We don’t want Toots in the American Hockey League, so I’ve got to figure out a way to get Jordin Tootoo back to the National Hockey League.”

The Wings used the first of two cap compliance buyouts last season when they shed the contract of Carlo Colaiacovo, who had one year left on a $2.5 million a season deal.

As for Franzen, “I just think Mule, has been a streaky scorer,” Holland said. “When he gets into a groove, he rides the wave. When it’s not going in, it’s not going in. It’s a hard league to score in. You score 20-25 goals now, that’s a lot of goals. Other than superstars. We don’t have 60-goal scorers anymore. I don’t even know 50. Obviously (Alex) Ovechkin. What we need, we need six or seven or eight guys that score 25. Mule is a guy that has the potential to score 25.”

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