DETROIT – The Red Wings placed Jordin Tootoo on unconditional waivers today for the purpose of using their second compliance buyout on the veteran forward’s contract.
Wednesday’s move was a formality as Tootoo must clear waivers first at noon on Thursday before his contract, which has one year remaining, can be bought out.
According to Capgeek.com, it will cost the Red Wings more than $1.33 million over the next two years to get out of the final year of Tootoo’s three-year, $5.7 million contact that he signed on July 1, 2012.
The Red Wings used the first of their two compliance buyouts last summer on defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who appeared in 25 games with the St. Louis Blues last season.
Tootoo, 31, spent most of last season in Grand Rapids with the Red Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate, producing six goals and 18 points in 51 games. He no goals and one assist in 11 games with Detroit last season.
Detroit general manager Ken Holland said after the Red Wings were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs in April that buying out Tootoo was a real possibility for a couple of reasons.
“Toots doesn’t want to be in the American League. We don’t want him to be in the American Hockey League,” Holland said. “Toots has done everything we could have asked of him in the AHL. He hasn’t complained. He’s been a good foot solider. … I don’t think it’s fair to Toots and from the business standpoint, we don’t want Toots in the American Hockey League, so I got to figure out a way to get Jordin Tootoo back to the National Hockey League.”
With the Red Wings’ roster undergoing an infusion of youth, buying out the 10-season veteran was the most plausible way for Tootoo to get back to this NHL in the upcoming season.
Before coming to Detroit, Tootoo had spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Nashville Predators’ organization. He still holds the Predators all-time record for penalty minutes with 725 in 486 games.
With 18 players under NHL contracts, the Red Wings are approximately $18 million under the cap payroll with a trio of restricted free agents – forwards Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan and defenseman Danny DeKeyser – yet to sign this summer.