NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jordin Tootoo spent his first eight seasons in the NHL with the Nashville Predators and was a fan favorite.
When he stepped on the ice wearing his No. 22, the hoot of train whistles would cut through the sound at Bridgestone Arena, and when he crashed into an opposing player with one of his trademark hits, delight and applause would spring forth.
Tuesday, he will play his first game in his former city as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Tootoo, 30, signed a three-year deal worth $5.7 million. Nashville, busy signing players it traded for last season (Hal Gill and Paul Gaustad), did not make much of an effort to re-sign Tootoo. Rich Clune has taken up Tootoo's role with Nashville.
The sight of Tootoo wearing red and white will take some getting used in this city.
"Obviously it's different," he said. "Everything about the whole experience. Dressing in this (visitors) room -- I've never been in this room before. Walking across the street, staying in a hotel, everything has been an experience in itself, but as a hockey player guys come and go and move from team to team. It's just part of it."