• PRINT
  • RSS

Winnipeg Homecoming For Tootoo & Wilson

Friday, 09.30.2011 / 9:57 AM CT / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
X
Share with your Friends


Winnipeg Homecoming For Tootoo & Wilson
Barry Trotz wasn’t the only Nashville Predator eagerly awaiting tonight’s game against the Jets.

Colin Wilson and Jordin Tootoo spent extensive time in Winnipeg during their younger years and have strong ties to the area.

Wilson lived in Winnipeg from age 3 to 16. He was actually born in Connecticut, but it was because his father, Carey, was playing for the New York Rangers at the time.

“He retired when I was 3 years old and we went immediately back to Winnipeg,” Wilson said. “My whole family is here. Both sides are Winnipeg natives and it’s where I grew up. I call it home because it is my home. I generally go back for the summers, but this was the first summer I wasn’t able to get back.”

His return will be a little different this time. Wilson was able to get 20 tickets for family and friends, but it would have been impossible to fill every request. He expects to have more than 50 people who are close to him attend the game, including every ex-coach he had.

To illustrate what it means for Winnipeg to get its franchise back, Wilson used a football reference.

“If the Titans lost their franchise to another city, people in Nashville would understandably be freaking out,” Wilson said. “It’s just as big in Canada. Hockey is Canada. Everyone jokes around about it, but it’s the honest truth. That’s all anybody really talks about.”

When Winnipeg finally announced the franchise was returning, Wilson was not only ecstatic but also relieved.

“For the last three years, I would get so many emails from friends saying, ‘Hey, we’re getting the Jets and it’s being announced tomorrow,’ ” Wilson said. “And then, sure enough, there was no announcement. I’m just glad it finally happened. They definitely deserve to have a team.”

A picture of Carey Wilson is featured inside MTS Centre where the Predators and Jets play tonight. It honors Carey Wilson as a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tootoo's roots are strong here as well. He is from Rankin Inlet but was born in Winnipeg because it was where the closest birthing station was located. He considers Rankin Inlet his home, but has fond memories of Winnipeg.

“I played five years of my amateur hockey in Manitoba, playing in Brandon for four years and in northern Manitoba for a year,” Tootoo said. “I definitely have a lot of people from there who have been watching my career over the past 10 years. Being born in Manitoba, I think a lot of Manitobans cheer for players who were born there.”

Tootoo expects plenty of family and friends to make the trip to Winnipeg for tonight’s game. And if the last game he played in the area is any indication, he will have thousands more fans in the stands.

“I played half a game there during the lockout against the (AHL’s Manitoba) Moose,” Tootoo said. “The fans that I had there were unbelievable. It’s been a long time coming for this city.”

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 56 11 31 0 42
F. Forsberg 56 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 56 15 21 -2 36
M. Ribeiro 56 6 30 3 36
J. Neal 56 21 14 19 35
M. Ekholm 56 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 55 6 16 2 22
C. Jarnkrok 55 11 8 2 19
C. Smith 56 11 7 -1 18
R. Johansen 16 4 12 6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 6 2 1 .924 2.10