Mike Modano part of official Stars ownership group

Modano5.jpgLast
week we reported on
what turned out to be an erroneous report that
Mike Modano was involved with a potential ownership group with Wayne
Gretzky and Brett Hull. Modano
responded
by calling the report “bullsh*t”, and it seemed that the
original story was mainly based on speculation and maybe a blind hope
and a prayer that three hall of fame players would be involved in owning
the same team.

Today, Mike
Heika of the Dallas Morning News
breaks the news that Mike Modano
is indeed involved in a potential ownership group. The official group,
however, involves former Stars team president Jim Lites and local
business man Billy Quinn. They have been reviewing the finances of the
team (that should be depressing), and are said to have already been
vetted by the NHL as a potential ownership group.

“There is a lot of pride in this organization and
where it’s been and
where we want it to go, and we think that if we can do this with a local
group, that’s the best way to accomplish things,” Modano said. “I
can’t tell you how excited I am about this. It’s the first step in this
process, and we all know it could very complicated, but I think we can
do this. It would be great for us and great for the team.”

Heika
has a number of good quotes from Modano, Lites and Quinn, so be sure to
check out his story.

Modano also states that while he could be a
minority owner, he’s not adverse to playing next season as well. That
would certainly be an interesting situation, as we’ve thought all along
that Modano returning next season was based on whether the Stars decided
they wanted him back, and/or could afford to pay him for a season or
two of play. If Modano is the boss, who’s going to say no?

In our
opinion, this is perfect group of businessmen to form an ownership group
for the Stars. Quinn is a local oil tycoon who was born and raised in
Dallas, and knows how important the Stars are to Dallas and just what
sort of ties the team has in the area. He would be the main financial
brawn behind the deal, and would be the perfect ownership lead for a
team that has grown stale financially with Tom Hicks at the helm.

Jim Lites was president of the team during the 1990’s and was
instrumental in building the sport of hockey in North Texas. He knows
what makes hockey work in Dallas, and is the right man to get the Stars
back into some semblance of relevancy in a town that seems to have
forgotten the team — aside from the die hard fans that show up night
after night.

This is just the start. Don’t expect any formal news
on a sale until later this summer.

With all the reports last week of Brett Hull desperate to be part of an ownership group (although he did deny it), you wonder if he could be involved in the future at some point.

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    Report: Skinner among leading candidates for Hurricanes captaincy

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    The Carolina Hurricanes went last season without a captain. That will change once training camp is over, and, according to a recent report, Jeff Skinner is one of the prime candidates to possibly wear the ‘C’ for this season.

    The Hurricanes selected Skinner seventh overall in 2010. He made an instant impact on the NHL club, scoring 31 goals and 63 points in his rookie season as a teenager. He’s been a valuable offensive weapon for Carolina ever since.

    This past season, he scored 37 goals — a career best. Although the consideration to potentially make him the next captain goes beyond his skills around the opposing net.

    From NHL.com:

    “He’s a passionate guy and he’s a passionate player,” Peters said. “He’s a real good pro in the fact that he looks after himself, he trains properly and the guys have unreal respect for the way he looks after his body. The maturity shows. I know guys bring it up quite a bit.”

    To that end, Peters said he was at a staff golf outing prior to the start of training camp with about 16 people, including members of the Hurricanes’ medical and strength training staffs, and he polled as many people about the captaincy candidates as he could.

    “[Skinner’s] name came up in the conversation quite a bit, and they bring up that type of stuff, the way he looks after himself and the way he prepares,” Peters said. “He’s passionate about it and he’s hungry to win.”

    The Hurricanes have, over the past few years, done a nice job of building a talented young roster that has shown signs of being able to compete in the Eastern Conference. They do, however, play in a difficult Metropolitan Division, which features the Blue Jackets, Penguins, Capitals and Rangers.

    The biggest change in Carolina this offseason was in net, with the addition of Scott Darling, who was the capable back-up in Chicago but is now taking over the No. 1 role with the Hurricanes.

    Another change is still upcoming. Eric Staal was the captain in Carolina for six years, but the team is expected to soon name a replacement. There are other candidates for the Hurricanes captaincy, as well, like Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal.

    “Someone is going to wear one, for sure,” said Peters earlier this month, per TSN. “Our leadership group is fine and we’ve got real good candidates. They’ll all provide leadership whether they wear a letter or not.”

    Islanders sign 2016 first-round pick Bellows to entry-level deal

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    The New York Islanders made a few roster moves Friday. That included sending 2016 first-round pick Kieffer Bellows back to the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

    Shortly after that, it was announced that Bellows and the Islanders agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract.

    The Islanders originally selected Bellows with the 19th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    The 19-year-old left winger played one year at Boston University, tallying seven goals and 14 points before deciding to leave school to play this season in the WHL, which has a completely different schedule from college.

    “Play more games,” Bellows told NHL.com in July. “I think just the 72 games in the [WHL] regular season is the biggest thing. I can’t thank [Boston University coach David] Quinn enough and all the guys on the team. I had an unbelievable first year at Boston University, but I just felt it was best for me to go and play more games.”

    Stamkos to make preseason debut tonight vs. Predators

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    For the first time since Nov. 15, 2016, Steven Stamkos will be in the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup.

    Per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, the prolific scorer will play tonight for the Bolts, as they continue the preseason against the Nashville Predators.

    Stamkos suffered a knee injury last November. He underwent surgery but didn’t make it back to the lineup for the remainder of the year, marking the second time in four years his regular season was derailed by a significant injury.

    “Listen, I snapped my leg in half and came back and was playing the best hockey of my career,” Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times, referring to his broken leg suffered during the 2013-14 season.

    “So this is another hurdle. I’m confident that when you put in the work, you’re going to find ways. It may be different ways. You may have to adjust certain parts of your game. But we’ll handle that when I see how it feels in a game situation. We’ll know more tonight.”

    Given such a lengthy time away from game action, it might be wise — at least early on — to temper expectations of Stamkos.

    He is one of the league’s most dangerous scorers. But he also hasn’t played a game in 10 months. In a conversation with the Tampa Bay Times, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise, who had the same surgery in 2010, said it “took probably a year and a half to get back to feeling back to normal.”

    It appears Stamkos will center a line tonight with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov, who should certainly be pleased to be playing alongside No. 91.

    Habs place Redmond on waivers — again

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    A number of players found themselves on waivers Friday, including Montreal depth defenseman Zach Redmond.

    (CapFriendly has an extensive list of players on waivers, which you can check out here.)

    Redmond is in the final year of a two-year contract with the Habs, who already had a crowded blue line with eight defensemen signed for this season and Jakub Jerabek making the move from the KHL and looking to earn a roster spot out of camp.

    Noah Juulsen was also a prospect defenseman to watch in camp, however, he recently suffered a fractured foot and is out six weeks.

    Redmond, who was previously placed on waivers in January, split last season between Montreal and the Habs’ AHL affiliate in St. John’s, where he had 18 points in 26 games.

    Now 29 years old, Redmond has 130 games worth of NHL experience with Winnipeg, Colorado and Montreal.