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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    Stars put Spezza on injured reserve, recall Faksa from AHL Texas

    Dallas Stars v Arizona Coyotes
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    Sitting three points out of top spot in the Central Division and on the eve of an important divisional clash on home ice with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Dallas Stars have placed center Jason Spezza on injured reserve retroactive to Thursday, the club announced on Friday.

    Spezza, 32, was injured during Thursday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. The Stars can move back to within a point of Chicago for the division lead with a regulation win on Saturday.

    In 52 games this season, Spezza has 18 goals and 40 points, which ties him with Patrick Sharp for fourth on the team in total points.

    With Spezza out, the Stars recalled 22-year-old forward Radek Faksa from the Texas Stars in the AHL.

    Faksa has 15 goals and 26 points in 28 games this season with Texas. In 18 games with the NHL Stars, he has one goal and three points.

    Hitch’s recipe for more goals is a pretty simple one

    Ken Hitchcock, David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund
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    Ken Hitchcock wants the Blues to spend more time attacking and less time defending.

    Because hockey isn’t rocket science, that’s why.

    “To score and win games in the National Hockey League…you have to spend as much time in the offensive zone as you can,” Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch.

    “When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, you’re forechecking more. When you’re occupying the offensive zone more, the goalie has to make saves. They’re having to defend more. And the opposing team takes penalties on you. So they’re all connected. … What I want to see from us is staying on the puck for longer stretches.”

    According to the stats, the Blues have not been spending as much time in the offensive zone as we’re used to seeing from them. In fact, in their last 20 games, they rank in the bottom third of the league in score-adjusted Corsi. That compares to their first 20 games when they were in the top third.

    The result is fewer shots, and more importantly, fewer goals. The Blues have fallen all the way to 25th in offense, averaging just 2.37 goals per game. Last year, they finished fifth (2.91).

    Yes, some of that may be due to the absence of Jaden Schwartz, and he should be back soon. But there’s a reason people are watching GM Doug Armstrong as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches. This team could probably use another piece up front.

    The Blues host Minnesota Saturday.

    St. Louis has scored just five goals in its last five games.

    Goalie nods: Lindback ‘really excited’ for first start in almost three weeks

    Anders Lindback
    AP
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    Tonight in Anaheim, Anders Lindback will make his first start for the Arizona Coyotes since Jan. 16.

    The Coyotes have been riding rookie Louis Domingue since just before Christmas, but Domingue has allowed five goals in each of his last three starts, including last night’s 5-4 loss to Chicago.

    Lindback’s last appearance came Tuesday in relief, when he allowed one goal on 10 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Kings.

    Lindback was in goal for one of Arizona’s three victories this season over Anaheim, stopping 33 of 36 shots in a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 9. However, his .896 save percentage ranks among the lowest in the league.

    Frederik Andersen is expected to start for the Ducks.

    Elsewhere…

    — No word yet on a Penguins starter in Tampa, but Ben Bishop will go for the Bolts.

    Cam Ward will start for the Hurricanes in Winnipeg, where Connor Hellebuyck is expected for the increasingly desperate Jets.

    — Joonas Korpisalo was solid last night in Vancouver, but the Blue Jackets have not announced their starter for tonight’s game in Calgary. Karri Ramo will be in goal for the Flames.

    A ‘pretty solid two-way player,’ Sundqvist to make NHL debut for Penguins

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Oskar Sundqvist (49) collides with Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker (16) in the first period of a NHL preseason hockey game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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    The latest Penguins injuries, these ones to Evgeni Malkin and Eric Fehr, have led to an opportunity for Oskar Sundqvist.

    Sundqvist will make his NHL debut for the Penguins tonight in Tampa. The 21-year-old center has five goals and 11 assists in 39 AHL games this season.

    “Sunny’s a pretty solid two-way player,” coach Mike Sullivan said, per the Tribune-Review.

    “I don’t think he’s going to dazzle you with flashy plays, but I think he’s a guy who plays the game the right way. He’s hard to play against because of his size. He’s got a long reach, and he’s got a good stick.”

    Sundqvist was selected 81st overall by the Pens in 2012. He’ll become the fourth player out of that Pittsburgh draft class to make his NHL debut, after Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, and Matt Murray.

    Veteran Matt Cullen will replace Malkin on the second line, skating with wingers Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel.

    Related: Nick Bonino out ‘at least a month’ with hand injury