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Getting To Know: Jordin Tootoo   

Mark Malinowski
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Jordin Tootoo (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Getting To Know: Jordin Tootoo   

Mark Malinowski
By:

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."

Mark (Scoop) Malinowski's latest books "Facing Nadal" and "Muhammad Ali: Portait of a Champion" are available at amazon.

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Getting To Know: Jordin Tootoo