By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jenelle Schneider
Jordin Tootoo has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League.
The news came from Brandon, Manitoba, at a press conference prior to puck drop on Friday night's Wheat Kings game dedicated to the honour of Jordin Tootoo. The game, already set to be played in honour of the former longtime Wheatie, went over well for Brandon, as the home team cruised to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips.
Tootoo, now 35 years old, spent four seasons playing with the Wheat Kings after moving down to Brandon from Nunavut as a teenager. In 220 career Western Hockey League games, Tootoo collected 93 goals and 209 total points. However, he also accumulated an incredible 874 penalty minutes.
Tootoo then went on to enjoy a 13-year NHL career that began with the Nashville Predators - the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. The fiery winger played eight years for the Preds, before signing with the Detroit Red Wings for two seasons. He then moved on to finish his playing career with the New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks, before announcing his retirement this past Friday.
In 723 career games in the NHL, Tootoo had 65 goals and 96 assists for 161 total points. He added his fair share of penalty minutes to his career totals, spending a total of 1,010 career minutes sitting in the penalty box. Tootoo called Brandon his second home, and was ecstatic to announce his retirement at the rink in which he spent so much of his time as a young hockey hopeful.