PHT Morning Skate: On Jordin Tootoo inspiring others to get sober

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–Blackhawks forward Jordin Tootoo has been sober for a few years. Not only is he feeling better now because of it, but Tootoo’s also inspiring others to get their lives in order. “I took the same approach he did,” said friend Troy Aksalnik. “I went to rehab for 30 days and straightened my life out. I did it because I knew he did it.” (Chicago Tribune)

–As soon as he took over ownership of the Detroit Red Wings, Mike Ilitch did everything he could to turn the team around as quickly as possible. He had a vision and he stuck to it. “What I noticed right from the start, as soon as he bought the team, he was hands-on,” said Jim Rutherford. “You could see it right from the start, he was going to get that franchise turned around.” And boy did he ever get them turned around. Under his watch, the Red Wings became the model franchise in the NHL for many, many years. (ESPN)

–The Montreal Canadiens may have been flat in last night’s loss to the Boston Bruins, but the officiating crew sure seemed to have some jump. NHL referee Wes McCauley was pretty fired up when he announced Andrew Shaw and Torey Krug‘s five-minute penalties for fighting. This was pretty funny. (The Score)

–The Boston Bruins improved to 3-0 under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy with their 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky had contacted an Uber to give him a ride to his destination. When he got into the car, he realized that he had hopped into the wrong vehicle. Oops! (BarDown)

–Chinese billionaire Zhou Yunjie is committed to growing the game of hockey in China. Earlier this month, Zhou attended the All-Star Game over in Los Angeles. Zhou’s company, ORG, already has partnerships with the Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals, and the NHL is hoping to keep this relationship going. “We are thrilled with the relationship we and our clubs have established with Mr. Zhou and the interest he has shown, and the investment he has made, in the NHL,” Billy Daly said.“Certainly it is helpful to have that relationship as we attempt to broaden and deepen our ties with the Chinese business community.” (The Hockey News)

–Wayne Gretzky played many different sports when he was growing up, but he absolutely loved baseball. He was a huge fan of the Detroit Tigers too. Thankfully, he realized that he was never going to go pro, so he decided to stick with hockey.

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