Nashville won’t re-sign Tootoo, will become UFA on July 1


Sounds like the last Tootoo train whistle has been blown at Bridgestone Arena.

According to agent Kevin Epp, Jordin Tootoo won’t receive a contract extension from the Predators, meaning he’ll become a UFA when free agency kicks off this Sunday.

Tootoo, 29, has spent his entire eight-year career in Nashville, emerging as one of the league’s most identifiable agitators. He should have more than a few suitors on the open market, especially given he posted career highs in assists (24) and points (30) last season.

Despite those numbers, there were questions about what role Tootoo played — and would play — in Nashville. He only made three postseason appearances and was one of the odd men out after the Preds made all their trade deadline splashes. GM David Poile openly recognized there was a difference of opinion about Tootoo’s role…as did Tootoo.

“When you get shut down and told you’re not playing, it [expletive] burns,” Tootoo told The Tennessean the day before Nashville beat Detroit in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. “After doing everything right, it just [expletive]. … I’m [ticked] off because I’m not able to do what I love to do and that’s playing the game.”

Tootoo’s last deal was a two-year contract worth $1.25 million annually.