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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    Trade deadline: Caps only need to ‘upgrade on the fringes’

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07:  Caps senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan of the Washington Capitals speaks with the media prior to the game against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on January 7, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The way the Washington Capitals have been steamrolling their opponents in 2017, it was no surprise to hear GM Brian MacLellan say he doesn’t expect to make major changes ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline.

    “This year, I don’t feel that pressure or that need to do anything,” MacLellan said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Tarik El-Bashir. “We’re not going to mess with lines or defensive pairs. If we can upgrade on the fringes, we might do it.”

    The Caps have already added some defensive depth, acquiring Tom Gilbert last week in a trade with the Kings.

    Gilbert is currently with AHL Hershey but could be called upon soon after Matt Niskanen was forced to leave last night’s win over the Flyers.

    MacLellan said today that Niskanen is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, adding that it wasn’t anything “serious.”

    “We’ll make sure he’s 100 percent before he comes back,” the GM said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic.

    The Caps’ next game is Friday at home to the Oilers. On Saturday, they’re in Nashville to take on the Predators.

    Gaudreau wasn’t demoted for missing team bus, says Gulutzan

    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 08:  Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames skates up to a face off during the second period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on December 8, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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    Calgary head coach Glen Gulutzan set the record straight about Johnny Gaudreau missing a team bus for an outdoor practice in New York earlier this month, and Gaudreau’s subsequent fourth-line demotion a week later.

    “I can tell you this — it wasn’t a big deal,” Gulutzan explained, per the Calgary Sun. “We were in a gong show that day — we were dressing in a hotel ballroom, it was a real mess.

    “He was with the trainer, so he came over with him. It was a 10 a.m. bus and I said, ‘hey do your thing, everyone else get there.’ So he jumped in a cab with (head therapist) Kent (Kobelka).”

    The incident occurred on Feb. 4, and made for quite the scene — Gaudreau, decked out in full gear, jumped out of a taxi at Central Park just prior to practice. He then played over 19 minutes the following night against the Rangers, tallying an assist, but two games later was dropped to the bottom line in an ugly 5-0 loss to Arizona.

    The initial assumption was Gaudreau got demoted because of an offensive zone turnover at the end of a lengthy shift. But given his history — last year, he was scratched after showing up late for practice following a reported “epic” Super Bowl party — there was some speculation he’d been subjected to another team punishment.

    Not the case, said Gulutzan. From the Sun:

    He insists no team rules were broken and no discipline was needed.

    Gulutzan and other team officials said exceptions weren’t made for the superstar, nor were there whispers on the bus about him getting preferential treatment.

    It’s been an up-and-down year for Gaudreau. He missed the entire preseason embroiled in contract negotiations before inking a monster six-year, $40.5 million extension.

    He’s oft been the subject of targeting this season, and missed 10 games with a broken finger from an Eric Staal slash. As a result, his production is down — just 11 goals and 39 points through 50 games — and has found the back of the net just once in his last 20 contests.

    That said, Gaudreau’s still shown off his incredible offensive talent. In Tuesday’s wild 6-5 OT win over Nashville, he racked up four assists, which included a helper on Mark Giordano‘s winner in the extra frame.

    Letang day-to-day, but Schultz hopes to play Saturday

    PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 20:  Justin Schultz #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck in the first period during the game against the San Jose Sharks at PPG PAINTS Arena on October 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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    Justin Schultz is hoping to play Saturday when the Penguins host their rivals from Philadelphia outdoors at Heinz Field.

    The 26-year-old offensive defenseman was back at practice today after missing three games with a concussion suffered a week ago.

    “It’s good to be back,” Schultz told reporters. “The legs feel really good. Not cleared for contact yet. Hopefully I can be ready for the game.”

    Schultz is enjoying a career year with nine goals and 30 assists in 56 games, and the Pens may need him Saturday since Kris Letang is now “day-to-day with an upper-body injury,” according to head coach Mike Sullivan. 

    No word how Letang was injured. The 29-year-old managed to log 28:49 of ice time in Tuesday’s 3-1 win in Carolina, but he skipped practice today.

    Suffice to say, the Pens’ defense is in a real state of flux at the moment. Trevor Daley is expected to miss the rest of the regular season due to knee surgery, and Olli Maatta is out long term as well. Those two injuries likely hastened GM Jim Rutherford to pick up Ron Hainsey in a trade today with Carolina.

    “I’m familiar with him because I signed him in Carolina,” Rutherford said of Hainsey. “He’s a real character guy. He’s a good penalty killer.”

    Rutherford added that the Pens may be in the market for another defenseman still.

    Pittsburgh has two games left before the March 1 deadline, Saturday against the Flyers and Tuesday in Dallas.

    Related: Shattenkirk headlines list of UFA d-men who could be traded

    ‘Canes waive Bickell in hope of extended AHL stint

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 13: Paul Postma #4 of the Winnipeg Jets and Bryan Bickell #29 of the Carolina Hurricanes head to the Carolina zone during NHL action on October 22, 2016 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
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    Busy day in Carolina — shortly after sending veteran d-man Ron Hainsey to Pittsburgh, the ‘Canes placed forward Bryan Bickell on waivers.

    Bickell, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this season, has been training and skating in advance of a comeback.

    He’s been out since Oct. 30, and missed the last 48 games.

    Today’s move is based on the assumption Bickell, 30, will need more than the standard two-week conditioning stint in the AHL, so the plan is for him to clear, then spend extended time in Charlotte.

    “I’ll tell you what: he’s done everything he possibly can to get himself ready and get back at it, so we’ll see where it leads,” head coach Bill Peters said, per the ‘Canes website. “It’s an unreal source of inspiration, and his attitude has been fantastic through this whole thing.

    “I give him nothing but credit there.”

    Per NHL.com, Bickell originally aimed to return to the ‘Canes following their bye week, targeting a home date against the Avalanche on Feb. 17.

    “It all depends too on what other guys are doing if they’re going on a huge streak,” Bickell explained. “I like to see them win. If they need me, I’m sure an extra week of me skating is not going to hurt me.

    “We’re just going to wait until after the next treatment and after the bye week and go from there.”

    Bickell’s treatment is a monthly intravenous of Tysabri, a drug which helps limit the effects of MS. The 30-year-old said he began feeling better upon taking the medication, and has steadily his skating workload to get up to NHL speed.