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Jordin Tootoo: the Blackhawks “found him an injury” after he refused to go to the AHL
In 2016-2017, Jordin Tootoo was at the end of his career. He chose to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks. During the season, he played 50 games, plus two more in the playoffs.

He earned $750,000 that year after signing in July 2016.

GM Stan Bowman was clearly pleased with what the depth player brought to his club, as in February he gave him a one-year, $700,000 contract extension.

Why am I bringing up the past this morning?

Because in the margins of his most recent book, which is called Mind Over Matter and came out earlier this year, Tootoo explained why we don’t see anything on his DB Hockey page during the 2017-2018 year.

The Manitoban explained the situation in a page from the book that is circulating following a post by Mike Commito, on Twitter.

Basically, we learn that after seeing the Blackhawks submit Tootoo to the waivers, he really didn’t feel like reporting to AHL club Rockford after being ignored.

So the player went to Stan Bowman to tell him this:

I did you a favor by signing you because you were caught in terms of signing a veteran.

Now it’s your turn to return the favor. I’m not going to Rockford. My wife is pregnant and due in February. I’m not going back and forth with my family. – Jordin Tootoo

He suggested that the Hawks place him on the LTIR, the long-term injured list, to save himself. This saved him from defaulting on his contract, and the Hawks agreed to “hide” him on the LTIR.

Bowman knew that Tootoo had a sore shoulder. So he asked the player to provide an MRI to justify the personnel move.

Tootoo showed up in Rockford for one practice anyway. He went there to be deemed “unfit to play” and was placed on the LTIR for the remainder of the season.

He didn’t hear from the Hawks for the rest of the season.

Note that according to Cap Friendly, Tootoo was placed on the waivers twice that year: on October 2 and November 29. Both times, he was not claimed by anyone.

On November 30, an article stated that he was headed for the AHL. Years later, we finally found out what was really going on.

One suspects that Gary Bettman must not be happy to read this. After all, his league is looking pretty bad this morning… even though we suspected that stuff like this was going on.

That said, it’s often the opposite that happens behind closed doors: a club parks a player on the LTIR. Martin St-Louis’ assistant knows all about it… #îleRobidas #MapleLeafs


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