Mike Modano facing a Brett Favre decision

Modo5.jpgWhile he’s certainly not the NFL superstar that Brett Favre was at
the time, Mike Modano could certainly start to draw some comparisons to
the this summer to the quarterback. Just a week after the NHL regular
season ended, Modano is already answering questions about his decision
on retirement and if anything, he’s even more undecided that he was
while skating around Minnesota ice with a North Stars jersey on his
back.

Talking to reporters on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, Modano had this to say about his decision for this summer.

“It’s really hard,
I’m really kind of on the fence right now,” he said. “It’s tough. And then you watch some of
the playoffs, watch some of those games and it’s like those are
the things that you miss.”

Not helping matters
is how the Dallas Stars finished their season, missing the playoffs for
the second straight year. For a player with as much pride as Modano,
this cannot sit well.

“That’s the hard
part. You leave on a real bad taste in your mouth about how we
played,” Modano said. “That too is a real motivating factor
because you hate to end on that type of note. You like to go in the
playoffs, make a good run and have some excitement. … But then you
have a type of run like that and you’re like, ‘Hey, let’s do it
again next year.'”

So of course, the
comparisons to Brett Favre commence and what’s amazing (although not
surprising) is how Modano certainly acknowledges how the situations are
very similar. “He
still feels he
can throw and obviously he can,” Modano said. “So I can see why
we at this time get real wishy-washy about what we’re going to
do.”

Modano has not had injury issues in the
later years of his career and while he’s far from the offensive sniper
he had been in the 1990’s, he’s still a very capable two-way player with
above average speed and an incredibly accurate slapshot. So he likely
feels, and I agree, that he has something to add to an NHL team. The
Capitals thought so; they were willing to trade for him at the deadline.

Still,
Modano has a chance to go out relatively on top. The final two games of
the season were incredibly emotional for Modano and the Stars fans and
there is no way that another moment like what we witnessed two weeks ago
will ever be recreated. Modano can come back, but he runs the risk of
being forced into retirement due to injury or another disappointing
year.

And the decision may not be entirely up to him. He’s not
under contract for next year, and the the Stars have yet to decide on
whether to give a contract offer to Modano. The Stars are looking to go
younger and have a limited budget to do so. If the Stars decide to move
on without Modano, and with the franchise player aiming to become part
owner, I doubt he’ll head to another team.

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    Canucks name new head coach of AHL affiliate

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    The Vancouver Canucks have finally settled on a head coach for their AHL affiliate.

    Today, Trent Cull was named new bench boss of the Utica Comets.

    Cull replaces Travis Green, the new head coach of the Canucks.

    “Trent is a passionate head coach with significant AHL experience,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said in a release. “He understands the development path of a young player, including the challenges they face, and has been a part of many successful organizations. Trent is a teacher with a positive, energetic work ethic. We’re excited to welcome him and his family to our organization.”

    The past four seasons, Cull has been an assistant coach for AHL Syracuse. The Crunch made it all the way to the 2017 Calder Cup Final, where they lost to Grand Rapids.

    Cull, 43, has never been a head coach in the AHL, though he did hold that role for three years with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves from 2010-13.

    It’s believed the Canucks’ first choice for the Utica job was Rocky Thompson. However, Thompson chose instead to become head coach of Vegas’ AHL affiliate in Chicago.

    Construction worker dies after fall at Detroit arena

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    DETROIT (AP) A worker has died after falling 75 feet at the Little Caesars Arena worksite north of downtown Detroit.

    Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

    Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.

    The arena will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.

    More on the story from the Detroit Free Press

    Habs extend De La Rose — one year, $725,000

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    Montreal secured some forward depth on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Jacob De La Rose.

    De La Rose, 22, was taken 34th overall at the 2013 draft and has appeared in 64 games for Montreal over the last three seasons. He had a nice debut for the club in ’14-15 — appearing in 33 regular-season contests, and 12 playoff games — but has since spent the majority of his time in AHL St. John’s.

    That might not be the case moving forward, however.

    De La Rose’s deal is worth $725,000 (per TSN) and, importantly, is of the one-way variety. There could be more opportunities at forward next season. Montreal has already said it’ll pass on bringing back UFAs Brian Flynn and Dwight King, and it’s unclear if the club will get a deal done with Alexander Radulov.

    It’s also unclear what GM Marc Bergevin plans to do with Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been the subject of numerous trade rumors.

    Even after bad season in Buffalo, Kulikov generating strong interest as UFA

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    Dmitry Kulikov had a bad season in Buffalo. There’s no debating that.

    Not only did the defenseman struggle statistically, finishing minus-26 with just two goals and three assists, he also had trouble staying healthy, appearing in just 47 games for the Sabres.

    But despite all that, Kulikov seems to be generating plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Presumably, the hope among his many suitors is that he can bounce back, so long as he’s put in a better situation.

    Kulikov is still just 26. And before he was traded to Buffalo a year ago, he’d had a number of respectable seasons with the Florida Panthers.

    It’s why the Sabres were so happy to get him.

    “He’s a good player,” then-GM Tim Murray said last June, per NHL.com. “I like guys that are honest, I like guys that are hard to play against, I certainly like guys that can make a tape-to-tape pass, and with our forwards, I think if he can make a tape-to-tape pass, good things are going to happen in transition with the skill and speed we already have here, so he’s just a great fit.”

    Of course, it wasn’t a great fit, and Murray is no longer the GM.

    As for Kulikov, there’s “about a dozen” interested teams, according to his agent. Ottawa and Winnipeg are believed to be among them.