Winnipeg Homecoming For Tootoo & Wilson

Friday, 09.30.2011 / 10:57 AM / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
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.”


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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