Devils right winger Jordin Tootoo talks about his earliest hockey experiences and his toughest competitors.
Status: New Jersey Devils right wing.
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 199 pounds
DOB: February 2, 1983 In: Churchill, Man.
First Hockey Memory: “I think for me growing up in a remote community, we had this kind of an igloo arena. It was kind of, felt like an igloo. And I think I was about four or five years old, I remember going into that dome – we called it The Dome – and putting on my mini skates or whatever that I had. Playing on that.”
Hockey Inspirations: “Would have to be my father (Barney), he grew up playing hockey and he was a pretty good hockey player himself. Another person I really looked up to was my late brother (Terence). He was three years older than me. He really inspired me to be a better professional and better person off the ice. And someone I dearly miss. Just trying to live on his legacy.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Would probably be Ken Dryden. He came up to my hometown back in the mid ’90s I think – so that was a pretty cool feeling.”
Greatest Sports Moment(s): “Representing Team Canada in 2003 world juniors in Halifax.”
Most Painful Moment: “Probably losing my brother in 2002.”
Last Book Read: “I’m in the process of reading a parenting book – I just found out my wife is pregnant, so that’s big news in our household.”
Current Car: “I drive a Dodge Ram.”
Favorite Rinks To Play: “The Rock [smiles]. I think any of the Original Six. Obviously playing for Detroit was a pretty cool experience, The Joe (Louis Arena) is probably one of the most famous.”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “Yeah actually a game in Nashville I went into a corner and caught the ledge of the boards and I knocked myself out. And I was skating around the ice for like ten seconds – and I didn’t even know where the hell I was. Guys were calling me off and I was just skating around. No idea where I was.”
Strangest Game: “Actually when I was playing in Nashville we were playing Detroit in the playoffs. And they throw an octopus on the ice after the national anthem – and I skated over and I grabbed that octopus and I threw it down the tunnel. And my hand stunk for two days [smiles] – wasn’t the best thing to do before a game – my gloves, everything just stunk.”
Funniest Players: “None that I can really think of. (Devils teammates?) I don’t know… everyone’s pretty low-key.”
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “Scotty Nicholl was one. He’s not the biggest guy but he played with a lot of passion and determination. Or Wendel Clark was someone I really looked up to also growing up as a kid. I think that’s who inspired me to play the way that I play today.”
Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “Well I grew up in a hockey family. I grew up in far arctic where it’s winter time ten months of the year, so ice everywhere [smiles].”
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “I love hunting and fishing.”
Most Memorable Goal: “Oh I would have to say my first NHL goal, was in Atlanta in October – I forget the exact date – I got a pass from Marek Zidlicky and Dan Hamhuis and it was a one-timer.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “For me it’s about being comfortable and content in your own skin. I think the best feeling is that. Being true to yourself. When you’re able to go to bed at night with ease – you know you’re not living a lie I guess.”
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