After spending the first eight years of his career in Nashville, Jordin Tootoo became a favorite among Preds fans.
Tonight, he makes his return to Music City in a polar opposite fashion — as a member of one of Nashville’s fiercest rivals, the Detroit Red Wings.
Tootoo says he’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m just taking it in stride,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t know what to expect. It should be an experience in itself. Coming into Nashville, driving in on the bus, everything was a first for me.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of mixed emotions out there. I’m excited.”
Tootoo signed a three-year, $5.7 million deal with the Wings last season and has once again emerged a fan favorite.
His enthusiasm for fighting (four scraps already this year) isn’t something the Red Wings are used to — Detroit finished with the fewest fighting majors (15) in the league last season, and in 2010-11 (with 13), and in 2009-10 (with 19).
Speaking of scraps, it’ll be interesting to see if Tootoo can find a dance partner tonight.
It seems highly likely he and Richard Clune will cross paths at some point — Clune leads the Preds in fights this year, with five, and has fought Tootoo before.
Update: Clune is still nursing a jaw injury and wearing a protective mask, so he might not be so willing to drop ’em.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?