Report: Modano confirms move to Red Wings

#1
Report: Modano confirms move to Red Wings - NHL Free Agency 2010

Mike Babcock expressed his firm belief that the Detroit Red Wings would sign Mike Modano when he gave an exclusive interview to NHL.com last month. Now that it apparently will come true, Babcock is not the least bit surprised.

Modano, who's golfing in Scotland, confirmed via text to the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that he has decided to play with the Wings. The native of suburban Detroit later confirmed in a text message to The Associated Press that he has agreed to a one-year deal.

The Red Wings’ coach said he’ll be thrilled to add Modano to the lineup.

"We think he'd be a good fit for us and excited to play for us and we think he'll have a real good year,” he said. “If he comes to us I'm a big believer he'll end up playing again next year, too. I think he's got that kind of legs left in him. And remember, he's not coming here to be the guy; he's coming here to be one of the guys."

Babcock, who has been stumping to get Modano on the roster for a while now, sees his options for line combinations and power-play units growing. He also sees the Red Wings getting back to being the puck possession team that won the Stanley Cup in 2008 and played to Game 7 of the Final in 2009.

"We're trying to get back to being the Red Wings, not like last year when we were taped together all year, had no depth and we rode people too hard so when we got to the playoffs we were exhausted," Babcock said. "We think Nick (Lidstrom) has some left in him, but not if we're defending all the time. We need to get the puck and go. Our goal is to be loaded up."

Modano, who grew up in the Detroit area and whose parents still live there, fits into that philosophy because he would give the Wings another scoring option. He has 1,359 points – the most by an American-born player -- in 1,459 NHL regular-season games.

"What he is is just another guy that can score, another guy you have to worry about a little bit," Babcock said.

Before the summer began, Babcock penciled in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to start the 2010-11 season together on the top line with Tomas Holmstrom serving as the other wing. Babcock is still planning on that.

If Datsyuk and Zetterberg, who played on different lines for long stretches last season, are playing together that means Valtteri Filppula assumes the role as the Wings' No. 2 center. Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi would be his wings, Babcock envisions.

With the top six already ironed out, Modano's value becomes greater because Babcock sees the all-time leading American-born scorer in NHL history fitting in as the Wings' third-line center between Dan Cleary and the returning Jiri Hudler, who spent last season playing in Russia.

If Modano is there, that means Justin Abdelkader, who would have been the third-line center, can drop into the fourth-line rotation with Darren Helm, Kris Draper, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller and maybe Mattias Ritola.

"It puts Abby and Helmer in a spot where they should be for another year if they're going to be on a winning team," Babcock said.

Modano may be 40, but he scored 30 points in 59 games last season on a non-playoff team. Babcock confirmed that Modano will be given the chance to play not only on the third line, but also on the point of the Wings' second power-play unit opposite Niklas Kronwall.

It's not farfetched to think that if Modano stays healthy, he could produce upwards of 50 points.

"That's kind of what I'm thinking," Babcock said. "Because of his ability to shoot the puck, if he gets the puck to Hudler and he gets open, he can score."

Hudler, who had 57 points in 2008-09, will be expected to produce north of 60 and Cleary likely around 50. If they all stay healthy, the Wings could have one of the best third lines in the NHL.

"Hudler is a better player than people think," Babcock said. "I missed him way more last season than I thought I was going to miss him. To me, the kid is magic. We're thrilled to have him back. I like our team here. I even said that to my wife."
What kind of stats do you think he'll put up? Will he make much of a difference? And does he stay healthy for the entire season?
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
#2
It will be so strange to see Modano in a different jersey. I think he'll be a good role player on this team, he brings experience and leadership. If he can still healthy than he'll be able to help them offensively as well.

He'll most likely be playing on the third line, if he plays well than he might see some ice time on the second line.
 

Juan_Pablo

Registered Member
#3
It's good for him that he gets the oppurtunity to play in Michigan. He'll be a fan favorite and he'll play a great role on the third line. I'm sure he'll get at least 15 goals next season and his experience will get him full time on a penalty killing unit.
 

BigBob

Registered Member
#4
I have the feeling he'll flirt with the 3rd and 4th lines. That's just my opinion though. He'll defiantly get starts at 2nd, 3rd and 4th.. but he'll spend most of the time on the 3rd and 4th.
 

SqueakScolari

Registered Member
#5
Signing Modano for many of the other 29 teams really makes no sense, unless you are the Detroit Red Wings.

The Wings have always done a good job incorporating an older players leadership into their system. With any other team, Modano would just be a third liner who is a shadow of his old self, holding back younger players ready to play. But in Detroit, Modano will be a leader who has experience and provides them with great depth. I really like this signing.
 

oxyMORON

A Darker Knight
#6
He was the face of the Stars franchise ever since I could remember. I haven't heard from him since he became the leading American scorer whenever that was. It'll be weird for sure.
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
#7
Signing Modano for many of the other 29 teams really makes no sense, unless you are the Detroit Red Wings.

The Wings have always done a good job incorporating an older players leadership into their system. With any other team, Modano would just be a third liner who is a shadow of his old self, holding back younger players ready to play. But in Detroit, Modano will be a leader who has experience and provides them with great depth. I really like this signing.
Totally agree with you my friend. One thing that I am wondering is how much pressure the fans will put on him? Some people say that he'll have a lot of pressure on his shoulders since he's from that area.

Personally, I believe that's rediculous! Modano is definitely at the tail end of his career, he definitely won't be a go to guy in this team. He'll do everything Babcock asks him to do, and everything else is bonus in my opinion.
 
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