Blackhawks sign Jordin Tootoo to 1-year contract
Tootoo joins the list of bottom-six forward options.
The Chicago Blackhawks and free agent forward Jordin Tootoo have agreed to a one-year contract, the team announced Tuesday. The deal has a $750,000 cap hit, per General Fanager.
Tootoo, 33, has spent the past two seasons playing for the New Jersey Devils. He's also suited up for the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators. A relatively undersized winger at 5'9, 195 pounds, he's a well-known agitator like the departed Andrew Shaw, albeit not nearly as productive.
Last season, Tootoo recorded four goals and five assists in 66 games in a bottom-six role with the Devils. His career-high of 11 goals came during the 2007-08 season with the Predators, and he topped that season in points by putting up 30 in 2011-12. Over the last two seasons, he's had just 24 points in 134 regular season games, though.
In summary, Tootoo is a much cheaper, not nearly as good potential replacement for Shaw. While it's certainly not a flashy or exciting signing, it's not especially surprising that the team would want to look at some players who might be able to help fill that "get under the opponent's skin" role that Shaw often filled so successfully.
And that's not really so bad of a thing if you're paying near the veteran's minimum for it, although Tootoo is pretty much worthless in other areas. He won't be able to pair that peskiness with the offensive production that Shaw afforded, so while this is just a cheap flier on a guy who could end up in the AHL anyway, the best-case scenario is that the team finds better options elsewhere. Josh Jooris is still out there, for one.