Even though Mike Modano’s career may have ended on an especially poignant note in Minnesota, it appears that Modano may not be quite ready to hang it up for good. Modano told the Dallas Morning News that how things go this summer will dictate what his future will holds.
On whether he feels he is part of the Stars’ plans next season: The vibes haven’t changed much. I have a sense of the direction that the team is going in, and I’m not sure if I’m part of that. I’ll have to see what unfolds in July.
On possibly playing for another team next season: I can’t say that wouldn’t happen, but for me to go to a different team, it has to be an organization that I’m very familiar with. That way I would feel comfortable.
On which organizations he feels familiar with: There are several teams out West: Phoenix , San Jose , Anaheim and LA. I know a lot of the players and coaches of these teams because we’ve played them so much.
The team on that list that sticks out like a sore thumb is Phoenix. As you know, Phoenix’s head coach is Dave Tippett, former Stars head coach. From a familiarity standpoint that makes Phoenix seem so obvious it hurts. As for San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles the familiarity he speaks of there comes from playing so many games against them during the regular season.
At 40 years old, Modano probably wouldn’t want to spend time scorching his legacy in Dallas (and turning last year’s two touching farewell games in Dallas and St. Paul into seemingly empty gestures) to play for someone in a totally new system and wasn’t an immediate threat to make a deep run in the playoffs. If you’re just picking from the teams mentioned Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles gives him a nice set of options with the Coyotes being a great team last year, San Jose being the top seed in the west and Los Angeles poised to turn into next season’s version of the Chicago Blackhawks. Anaheim, while always a threat to do well, is more in the company of the Dallas Stars as far as competition goes. They’re not bad, but they don’t stand out as well as the other teams do. The Pacific Division is rather nasty that way.
The sad part of this whole thing becoming a story, however, is the fact that Modano appears to be headed down a rather Brett Favre-like road this summer. Or is it a Mats Sundin-like road? I guess we’ll see if Modano joins the ranks of poker players to find out.
Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.
Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.
Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.
The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.
It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.
That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.
“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”
Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.
“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.
“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”
Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.
As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.
He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.
His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.
Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.