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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    Preds sign Jarnkrok for six years, with a cap hit of just $2 million

    DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 09:  Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on December 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Predators defeated the Avalanche 3-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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    Nashville’s momentous offseason continued today with the signing of forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract.

    That’s a cap hit of just $2 million, all the way through 2021-22.

    Suffice to say, it’s not often that a player signs such a long deal, for such a modest cap hit. Jarnkrok notched career highs in goals (16) assists (14) in 81 games last season for the Preds. He kills penalties, too.

    At the very least, the 24-year-old has some financial security now. But for Nashville, as long as his production doesn’t fall off a cliff, he could end up being a great bargain.

    Jarnkrok had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4.

    Related: Preds avoid arbitration with Petter Granberg — two years, $1.225 million

    Red Wings re-sign Mrazek to two-year, $8 million deal

    Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek (34) stops a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the first period of Game 3 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    The Detroit Red Wings didn’t need Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing either.

    The day after the Wings avoided the process by locking up defenseman Danny DeKeyser, they agreed on a two-year deal with Mrazek, with a reported cap hit of $4 million.

    Mrazek, 24, went 27-16-6 last season with a .921 save percentage. Those numbers compared favorably to Jimmy Howard‘s (14-14-5, .906); however, GM Ken Holland has argued that keeping Howard could be best for Mrazek’s development.

    “It could possibly be detrimental if we put Petr in a situation where we’re just going to throw him out and play 70 games and no matter how you play, we’re going to keep putting you out,” said Holland.

    Granted, it may be that Howard is simply untradeable. He’s 32 years old, hasn’t put up solid numbers the past three seasons, and has three years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of just under $5.3 million.

    If Howard remains, the Wings will have just under $9.3 million in cap space allocated to their goaltenders next season, one of the highest totals in the league.

    Mrazek, by the way, will still be a restricted free agent when his new contract expires in the summer of 2018.

    Tavares ‘would love’ to spend his entire career with Isles

    John Tavares
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    With new majority owners and now talk of a new arena, the future of the New York Islanders has been a popular topic lately.

    Not surprisingly, it’s led to plenty of discussion about the future of captain John Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018.

    Ownership has insisted that it won’t get that far, that Tavares will be re-signed. The Isles will have “no financial constraints,” owner Jon Ledecky promised.

    But what about Tavares? What does he think?

    “I think I’ve always showed my commitment, my appreciation and my desire to play on Long Island,” the 25-year-old told Sportsnet 590 radio on Tuesday, per NHL.com. “I would love for that to continue for the long haul. I think you look at some of the greatest players in the game have been able to spend their entire career somewhere. I hope I’m in that same position.”

    As for the speculation he could sign in Toronto?

    “I would not count on that,” he said.

    So start the countdown to July 1, 2017. That’s when Tavares can officially start negotiating an extension with the Isles.

    Perhaps by then we’ll even know where the team will be playing its future games. Will it be Brooklyn or somewhere else?

    Sens re-sign Hoffman to four-year, $20.75 million deal

    Mike Hoffman
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    Only 18 NHLers have scored more goals than Mike Hoffman has over the last two seasons.

    Today, the Ottawa Senators signed the 26-year-old sniper to a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.1875 million.

    Hoffman had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4. The breakdown of his new deal, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

    His contract done, Hoffman can now focus fully on next season, which he’s excited about.

    “New coach coming in, Guy Boucher, I had him in junior when I played in Drummondville of the Quebec League,” Hoffman said recently. “Very good relationship with him, we won a championship together. So definitely looking forward to working with him this year.”

    As for Sens GM Pierre Dorion, he’s still got some offseason work to do. Defenseman Cody Cedi is a restricted free agent, and there’s no arbitration date to encourage a settlement in his case. While Dorion is confident that something that will get done with the 22-year-old, what remains to be seen is if it’s a short- or long-term deal.