Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Modano In August

To follow up on all my Mike Modano musings: Modano said he will decide what to do after he skates in August.

Whatever dude, just make a decision.

If he decides not to sign with the Detroit Red Wings then I will have to do some real thinking. I feel better about this team with Modano on the roster. Without him, it is a different team. Something tells me the Wings are better with him. Just a gut feeling. I have been wrong before.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Detroit Red Wings Goalies Of Old, New

I spent the past week in Michigan wandering around Metro Detroit and even up north. I had a lot of time to indulge in the tragicomedy of the Detroit Tigers. Also, I received a good dose of Honolulu Blue hope - six wins? Really? But of course, I talked hockey. I talked Red Wings. Since nothing too exciting is happening right now, my father and I found ourselves discussing Red Wings teams and players of old. Yet, more precisely, we conversed on old Red Wings goaltenders - the list of scapegoats and heroes of at least the previous 20 years.

Names like Bob Essensa and Tim Cheveldae. Guys like Marc Lamothe or Norm Maracle. Then I found this and, well, there it is: The history of Detroit Red Wings goalies is long, tough and tragic. Few have been able to really be the show between the pipes at Olympia and Joe Louis Arena. There is no argument here, just plain facts: The Detroit Red Wings are tough on their goalies. More than anything, the guy who accepts this position needs a metallic spine and shot nerve endings. Talent is a must, but composure and character reign superior. Decades of goaltenders have found this out the hard way.

Which leads me to Jimmy Howard. Does he have the guts? He has the talent, no doubt. Howard is as good as any throughout the league. He is in good shape and he has textbook skill. He has a calm temperament with a touch of insanity. But does he have the intense amount of composure and a duck-feathered back to last on this roster? I believe he does.

The playoffs were definitely not a cakewalk for Howard. He faced some offensive onslaughts and was hung to dry a few games. When we all watched for his response to some bad goals and games, he delivered a great show. Although he may not be the youngest rookie ever, he is still technically a rookie. This guy showed he has the poise to bounce back. He has what it takes to play goalie in Detroit.

Let's see him turn into Chris Osgood (but better) and not Cheveldae.




Thursday, July 15, 2010

Modano: An Honest Take

Mike Modano is showing up at every Detroit Red Wings blog - for good reason. The eight-time NHL All-Star is up for grabs. He alluded to wanting to wear the winged wheel. He is from Livonia, played in Westland. He spent his teen years with the Little Caesar's organization and with Compuware more than 20 years ago.

Since 1989, Modano has become a household name. He became the face of Minnesota hockey, then the most popular hockey player in Texas - yes, Texans even knew who Modano is. It's no argument that in the mid-to-late 1990s, Mike Modano was the face of USA hockey.

Now, he has the chance to bring it back home. He won't be the face of Detroit hockey, but he will be a face in Hockeytown - which is more than most NHL players can say.

Sounds like a nice story. But by now, July 15 - two weeks after free agency began - we're all getting sick of the potential story and more interested in what the hell is taking so long for Modano to give an answer. Maybe I should speak for myself, but this guy needs to make up his mind before August. If he decides to hang up the skates and retire, kudos to a great career. If he decides to play for Detroit, well, you witness the story-book ending unfold. Gurus are already picking Detroit as a favorite this coming season.

However, if Modano decides to go play somewhere other than Detroit, then I am thoroughly disappointed. I am not saying he is Detroit's LeBron James, but he will definitely be turning his back on the hometown club.

It is rare to get offered a decent job in Detroit these days.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Modano Stuff

I think FoxSports.com is full of garbage. It seems the only place I read about Mike Modano's Minnesota Wild interest, or lack of it, is at Fox.

Anyway, the way I see it, he gave his word. He said Detroit or nothing. I am starting to lose faith in the guy. I'm not sure I even want this indecisive flip flopper on the roster - if these rumors are true.

Enough about Modano until something happens.

Unrelated:

I am not over the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. I never will be. Thinking about it makes me sick. The other day, someone had to remind me of it. They were a Pittsburgh fan. I was upset.

The thing is, I can handle watching teams lose. I can handle seeing teams beaten. My teams. But there was something about the 2009 Cup series which will never sit well with me. Watching the Detroit Red Wings completely fold. Seeing the Penguins jump on the sliver of opportunity. It should not have happened.

The Red Wings roster needs to bounce back before they are too old. The current core group needs to erase 2009. This past season was absolutely not theirs to take. I must see some hope in the coming one.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Modano Thinking of Other Teams

Clearly, Mike Modano is far from making up his mind. He said Detroit or nothing this past week. However, now he is seemingly going against his statement.

Talks of Minnesota and San Jose are starting to pop up. Modano said Minnesota would be an "interesting story" since he started his career in the "State of Hockey."

I don't buy it. This seems like a bunch of garbage showing up on the Internet. Believe what you want to, but Mike Modano is going nowhere but Detroit or the couch.


Red Wings Prospects Sound Promising

From what I have seen and heard on Red Wings Facebook pages and websites, the prospect training camp seems to be going well. Of course, the organization wouldn't say it's going poorly. But there seems to be some extra excitement with this group of draft picks.

Riley Sheahan's name sticks out. He played at Notre Dame for a couple years. Scouts are comparing him to Brendan Shanahan due to his size and skill combination. If this is true, I look forward to seeing Sheahan in the big league.

Yet, I am not seeing much room on the roster for an under-developed player. He will really have to have some raw talent to get on the bench, better yet get on the ice.

So how about Mike Modano? Make a decision!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kovalchuk Is Money

While LeBron James creates his own oil spill panic for attention, Ilya Kovalchuk's free agency continues. It mostly goes unseen - like most of the NHL.

However, I care, and you probably care since you are here, reading this.

My opinion: Ilya Kovalchuk needs to stay in New Jersey. The Los Angeles Kings may look like a good choice, but we all know the fate of the Kings organization lies in it's fan base: real hit and miss.

He made it out of the minor league in Atlanta. I wouldn't settle for LA just yet.

If he does not stay with the Devils, he is making a big mistake. Yet, I have to agree with Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy:

"... the sadist in me would love to see all NHL suitors drop out in an epic collusion ... save for theAtlanta Thrashers, leaving Kovalchuk to decide between the ATL, the KHL and sailing the Caribbean for a year until this all blows over. "

But I disagree with the price drop Wyshynski alludes to later in his article. Kovalchuk can get paid and he knows it. I would pay to see him at Staples Center. I am sure many would. Teams have the money. The time to drop his salary is definitely not now. There is cap space.

Going to Russia should be right out. It will be a disgrace to the NHL if he can't get at least a one-year deal.

Pierre McGuire: A Reminder

Pierre McGuire is an awful broadcaster. I wrote a really nasty piece about him earlier this year. I do not apologize for it. I only hope it serves to make people aware of his delusional commentary on NBC.

McGuire is not going anywhere soon and this is a real shame. If he stays on NBC's hockey broadcast team, he best shape up. I doubt there is a chance he can come to senses.

This is not a personal attack on Pierre McGuire as an individual. I do not know the man on a personal level. This is one spectator's reaction to his work as a hockey commentator.

Agree or disagree. I'm not here for apologies.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Miller, Eaves Sign, Modano Sought

Mike Modano better make a decision soon so I can sleep. If he signs, I am buying a Mike Modano sweater. Maybe I won't, but I am sure it will be the hottest selling Red Wings sweater in years. What number would he wear? Can't have nine. This could possibly be the reason he is afraid to join the roster.

While I wait to see how the club acquires Modano (Duct tape and rope may do the trick), other guys are committing. Drew Miller is on for a couple years. Patrick Eaves is back for a year. Both guys are solid "grinders" and vital parts to the penalty kill. Eaves really impressed me last season. He showed great grit and toughness which I did not know he has. He reminds me of Kirk Maltby when he was younger. Eaves probably has better hands - and will actually drop his gloves. So, he's better than Maltby.

Of course, everyone knows my affection for Miller and the Miller family. It will be nice having the Spartan on the team for a couple more years, at least. He fits into this organization well.

Alas, once Modano wakes up and commits, I will be ready for a self-induced coma. The coma will last until hockey season.

Enough of this World Cup crap. It's un-American.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Modano Visits Holland and Babcock

Mike Modano is being flown to Detriot to talk with Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Mike Babcock.

Hopefully they make him an offer he can't refuse. I am all for this.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Bob Probert Dies at 45

Former Detroit Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert died. He was 45.






Friday, July 2, 2010

Detroit Offense Looking Decent

While I worry about the defense and what kind of player the team will add back there before the season starts, I continue to feel more confident about the guys up front.

The lines look decent from top to bottom. Mike Babcock is keeping Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg together. This hopefully means he has a deadly first line to work with and an opportunity to produce some frustrating combinations for teams to deal with on the second and third lines.

The Red Wings have a chance to be an impressive force up front - especially with one more edition for depth purposes. Mike Modano could be the one.

I am wondering where some of the players will end up. Where could Daniel Cleary fit into the lineup? If Jiri Hudler is going to play with Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi on the second line, will Babcock really put Cleary with Datsyuk and Zetterberg?

There will be many questions. I won't rest my brain on this issue until another veteran forward is added to the roster (Mike Modano).