Report: Jordin Tootoo Close To Return From LTIR


According to reports, Chicago Blackhawks winger Jordin Tootoo is nearing a return to the lineup after starting the season on Long-Term Injured Reserve. After Monday’s morning-skate, head coach Joel Quenneville commented on the status of Tootoo:

What To Do With Tootoo?

There is no real plan at this time for what the Blackhawks plan to do when Tootoo returns to action, but with the current roster rotation, it becomes difficult to find a spot that makes sense for him. With the Blackhawks already playing Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels on the fourth line, the role of bottom-six physical presence is already filled. Unless the Blackhawks find him a place in the current roster,Tootoo will most likely end up being sent to the Rockford IceHogs, being that he is waiver exempt.

The question then becomes, do the Blackhawks plan to take ice-time away from a player with the IceHogs? Rockford has been a much younger, faster squad this season compared to last and adding Tootoo could take away from the development of a mostly early-20’s roster of players. The addition of a veteran presence in the young IceHogs locker room could be the selling point for Tootoo as the 34-year old returns to the ice.

The other option would be making a deal to give Tootoo another opportunity with another club to get NHL ice-time, but that seems unlikely after the Blackhawks extended his contract last summer. Last season, Tootoo played in 50 games for the Blackhawks, tallying three points and 28 penalty minutes. The last time he played in the AHL was in the 2013-14 season, Tootoo played in 51 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins.