Sharks, Wild join Red Wings as teams interested in Mike Modano

modanorthstars.jpgThe Mike Modano saga keeps going and going, even if it all feels a little bit wrong considering the guy spent an insane 22 years with the Dallas Stars franchise.

While seeing Modano in another jersey will make Stars fans’ stomachs turn no matter what, the thought of him being a member of the Detroit Red Wings must be especially troubling. Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that two other teams are interested in Modano. One would seem more than fair (the Minnesota Wild) while the other would be a hated division rival (the San Jose Sharks).

Durrett also takes a look at what kind of role Modano would play on a prospective new team.

Modano said he has no timetable to make a decision. He met with Detroit general manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock earlier this week and left intrigued by the possibility of playing with the Red Wings, a team with a history of getting the most out of aging superstars.

Modano has to figure out if he wants to go through the rigors of training camp, practice and games in a full season again. The Red Wings had discussed using him as a third-line center and on the second power-play unit. He could fill similar roles on the Sharks or Wild if discussions progress.

He’s not completely useless on the ice even after all this time, but my personal stance is that Modano already received the perfect send-off. The all-time points and goals leader among American-born hockey players doesn’t have anything else to prove and, you know, he can spend more time with his ridiculously attractive wife.

But, as I’ve said before, it’s his choice to make. We’ll keep you updated as this situation moves along.

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    Rick Nash snaps out of slump, powers Rangers to huge win

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    The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers are two of the teams in the middle of the free-for-all that is the Eastern Conference playoff race that had five teams separated by just three points heading into Tuesday night.

    Both teams had been rolling in opposite directions over the past week with the Flyers having won four in a row and five of their past six, while the Rangers were riding a three-game losing skid and had lost four out of five.

    Their past two losses coming out of the bye week were especially ugly, losing to the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins (two other teams they are competing with) by a combined score of 12-4.

    Both the Rangers’ and Flyers’ streaks came to an end in their game on Tuesday with the Rangers picking up a huge 5-1 win.

    Rick Nash was the big star for the Rangers on Tuesday with a pair of goals, including a breakaway goal in the first period to tie the game at one after the Rangers gave up an early goal. It was a big performance for Nash because he had been mired in a brutal slump that had seen him go 12 consecutive games without a goal. He also had just one assist during that stretch. That slump has contributed to a down year offensively that has him on track for one of the least productive seasons of his career.

    But he came through in a big way on Tuesday to help give the Rangers two huge points and move them three points ahead of the Flyers. The Flyers still have one game in hand while the two teams will still play three more games the rest of the season.

    The Rangers’ win on Tuesday, combined with the Islanders’ 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, moves the Rangers back into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference for the time being.

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

    Predators place forward Viktor Arvidsson on injured reserve

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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Nashville Predators have placed forward Viktor Arvidsson on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and recalled forward Frederick Gaudreau from the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.

    The Predators made the move Tuesday afternoon.

    Arvidsson was helped off the ice Monday during practice, and The Tennessean reports he tested himself during Tuesday morning’s skate.

    The forward ranks third on the Predators with 13 goals and fourth with 27 points. The Predators already have Filip Forsberg on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

    Gaudreau has played 18 games with the Predators with three assists. He had 14 points in 21 games with the Admirals this season.

    More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

    WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers

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    NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 season continues on Tuesday night, as the New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00 p.m. ET.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    PROJECTED LINES

    Rangers

    Rick NashMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
    Mats ZuccarelloJ.T. Miller – Vinni Lettieri
    Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPaul Carey
    Michael Grabner – Peter Holland – Jesper Fast

    Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
    Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
    Marc StaalSteven Kampfer

    Startling goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

    [Flyers look to push winning streak to five games against Rangers]

    Flyers

    Claude GirouxSean CouturierTravis Konecny
    Michael RafflValtteri FilppulaJakub Voracek
    Jordan WealNolan PatrickWayne Simmonds
    Taylor LeierScott LaughtonJori Lehtera

    Ivan ProvorovShayne Gostisbehere
    Robert HaggAndrew MacDonald
    Brandon ManningRadko Gudas

    Startling goalie: Brian Elliott

     

    Golden Knights’ defense coming into focus with signings

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    As the Vegas Golden Knights’ success gradually goes from shocking to accepted, there’s still the question of what this team might look like next season and beyond. Such questions are only natural when you consider all the key players who still need contract extensions.

    Golden Knights management is chipping away at those questions regarding their defense in 2018-19, particularly this week.

    On Monday, the Golden Knights signed local favorite and rugged defenseman Deryk Engelland to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million. (That deal includes $1M in potential performance bonuses, according to Cap Friendly.)

    One day later, the team announced a two-year extension for Jon Merrill (pictured). The deal is for $2.75M overall, so it will make for a $1.375M cap hit in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

    The Golden Knights now have five defensemen on their current roster who are signed through 2018-19, if not longer: Engelland, Merrill, Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb, and Brad Hunt. McNabb is locked up the longest, with a $2.5M cap hit kicking in next season and expiring after 2020-21.

    The most interesting remaining defensemen to sort out are Colin Miller and Shea Theodore, both pending RFAs. The Golden Knights have been buying up blueliners at bargain rates, but Theodore and Miller could be tougher nuts to crack contracts-wise. (Two UFA defensemen Luca Sbisa and Clayton Stoner on IR.)

    Quick look at Engelland and Merrill

    Engelland, 35, has been one of the Golden Knights’ ice time leaders with 19:39 per night, collecting 13 points while limiting his time in the penalty box (16 PIM in 41 games) compared to his usual numbers. He’s not perfect, but it’s conceivable that he’ll be worth that minimal cost to Vegas, especially since he’s an ambassador for the still-new franchise.

    While Vegas hopes Engelland can bring that veteran presence for another year, they’re likely banking on Merrill to be more effective at a cheap rate.

    The 25-year-old has been dealing with injuries and other issues, limiting him to 14 games played.

    ***

    These defensive signings aren’t as important as locking up Jonathan Marchessault, nor is it as crucial as making the right call with the likes of James Neal and David Perron. With Malcolm Subban and Marc-Andre Fleury seeing their deals expire after 2018-19, management will need to make some goaltending decisions not that long from now.

    A little bit of greed can inspire players to go that extra mile and stay that much hungrier, yet it’s also comforting to sometimes have some answers. After this week, there’s some clarity on the blueline, even if some decisions still need to be made.

    And, hey, the Golden Knights haven’t really locked themselves into bad contracts yet. Old teams could probably learn a thing or two from these new kids.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.