Mike Babcock believes Mike Modano is coming to Detroit

modano.jpgWe know we’ve talked a lot about this summer’s other free agent saga. You know, the one involving a 40 year-old future hall of famer, not the Russian mega-star on the brink of supreme financial freedom. I’m talking, of course, about Mike Modano. Today, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock poured some gasoline on the fires that stoke the rumor mill by saying what he thought Mike Modano was going to do.

“This is a no brainer for Mike Modano — the highest scoring American player of all time to come back to your hometown, play in Hockeytown,” Babcock told NHL.com Friday. “It’s not about the cash, it’s about the legacy and the fit. He’ll fit and he’ll be excited to play. I look forward to him signing. I think that’s inevitable. I think that’s what is going to happen.”

Babcock, of course, was smart enough to leave himself an out, just in case.

“I think this is all going to work out; I’m pretty certain of that for us, but I’ve been around before and if you would have told me Jiri Hudler was leaving for Russia, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said. “I’ve been wrong. Some people think I have the market cornered on being wrong.”

Well then. If Babcock thinks it’s as good as a done deal, that’s great then. We’re all settled then and can wrap this one up, right? Not so fast.

He doesn’t expect Modano to decide until Aug. 1 — at the earliest.

So you’d have to figure it’ll just be a one-year victory tour kind of thing for Modano. What say you, Mike Babcock?

“I think we’re a good fit for him and I think he knows it,” Babcock said. “I know the veteran players we have dealt with over the years, so I’m a big believer if Mike Modano comes to Detroit he won’t be here for one year, he’ll play for two.”

A two-year commitment for a 40 year-old player is a huge commitment considering that any deal signed by a player 35 years-old or older stays on the cap no matter what, even in the case of a career-ending injury. There’s no doubt that Babcock and the Red Wings organization smells blood in the water this off-season, especially when discussing their division-mates from Chicago so why not seize the day and go for the gusto.

The catch here is that while the Red Wings are jockeying very hard to get Modano, they’ve still got a couple of restricted free agents to get back into the fold and not a ton of cap space to get it taken care of. Forwards Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm still await new deals, and if there’s a player that other teams in need of a fast, defensive forward to play third line minutes might be after it’s Helm. Not that another team would make Helm an offer that would cause the Wings to not match it, nor would Helm command that sort of money anyhow but it is a concern nonetheless.

Obviously there’s still time to see how this will play out, but Babcock’s insistence is rather telling of how their meetings with Modano went.

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    ‘Hawks send towering d-man Svedberg back to AHL

    Justin Abdelkader, Corey Crawford, Viktor Svedberg
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    Chicago sent blueliner Viktor Svedberg back to AHL Rockford on Sunday, the club announced.

    Svedberg — who goes 6-foot-8, 234 pounds — was recalled from the IceHogs a few days ago with veteran d-man Michal Roszival dealing with an injury. The 24-year-old Swede has made an impact with the ‘Hawks this year, scoring three points in 16 games, but has struggled to stick consistently at the NHL level.

    That said, he did make one appearance during this most recent recall. Svedberg played just under 14 minutes in a 2-1 win over Colorado last Tuesday, registering an assist.

    Svedberg has appeared in 30 games for Rockford this season.

    WATCH LIVE: Flyers at Caps (Also: No hearing for Simmonds, who will play)

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22:  Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his game winning goal in the shootout against the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Capitals 2-1 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Today, the Philadelphia Flyers invade Verizon for a Super Bowl matinee against the Capitals. You can catch the game on NBC (12 p.m. ET), or you can watch live online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE ONLINE

    Some notes to pass your way:

    — Per an NHL spokesman, there will be no disciplinary hearing for Wayne Simmonds after getting ejected from yesterday’s game against the Rangers for punching Ryan McDonagh.

    Per the AP, the NHL has not rescinded Simmonds’ match penalty.

    Steve Mason starts in goal for Philly, while the Caps counter with Braden Holtby.

    Some relevant linkage for today’s affair:

    ‘A big loss’ — Couturier out four weeks with lower-body injury

    Ovechkin beats Devils in shootout

    Forsberg’s three points push Predators past Sharks, 6-2

    at SAP Center on October 28, 2015 in San Jose, California.
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    NASVHILLE, Tenn. (AP) Recent call-up Viktor Arvidsson scored twice, Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists and the Nashville Predators beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Saturday night.

    Pekka Rinne made 28 saves and James Neal, Calle Jarnkrok and Shea Weber also scored to help Nashville end a three-game home losing streak.

    Joe Thornton and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks. Their 17-8-2 road record is the best in the Western Conference, and the Sharks fell to 9-2-2 in their last 13 games.

    Rinne, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, regained his form after allowing six goals in a loss Thursday night to Philadelphia.

    Arvidsson was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Monday.

    San Jose goalie Martin Jones allowed five goals on 29 shots. He was 8-1-1 in his previous 10 starts and has an NHL-best 15-5-2 road record.

    The Sharks dominated early and took eight of the game’s first nine shots, but Rinne stopped them all.

    Nashville scored on its third shot when Neal fired a slap shot from the low slot past Jones 13:12 in. Neal leads the Predators with 19 goals.

    Jarnkrok’s wrist shot from the mid-slot bounced over Jones’ glove and in for a 2-0 lead at 6:26 of the second period.

    Johansen assisted on the play, giving him 14 points in 13 games since arriving in a trade with Columbus on Jan. 6.

    Jarnkrok also scored in a 6-3 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday, giving him nine goals on the season.

    Thornton cut Nashville’s lead in half when he swatted a loose puck in the crease into the net at 15:41 of the second period.

    Nashville responded quickly when Arvidsson roofed a wrist shot that beat Jones glove side at 17:01 of the second period.

    Forsberg’s short-handed goal built Nashville’s lead to 4-1 at 6:51 of the third period. He beat Jones with a wrist shot to the far post. Forsberg now has 101 career points.

    Arvidsson scored his second goal on a 2-on-1 breakaway, deking Jones before sliding a backhander past him to give the Predators a 5-1 lead at 8:44 of the third period.

    Couture’s slap shot narrowed the deficit to 5-2 at 13:37 of the third period.

    Weber got an empty-net goal with 4:37 left.

    Notes: Predators center Mike Ribeiro played in his 1,000th career game, becoming the 22nd active NHL player and 300th ever to reach the milestone. He was Montreal’s second-round pick in the 1998 draft. … Nine of the Sharks’ first 11 games after the All-Star break are on the road. … San Jose RW Joel Ward, 35, played three seasons for Nashville from 2008-11 early in his career. … Sharks right wing Joe Pavelski entered with eight game-winning goals, tied with Chicago’s Jonathan Toews for the most in the NHL.

    Hockey tough: Mark Stone shakes off skate to face, scores

    Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone celebrates his game winning goal during overtime against the Boston Bruins during an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.  The Senators defeated the Bruins 2-1. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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    You’d think the reaction to taking a skate to the face would be something like “Not coming back to that game, getting some ice and maybe do some soul-searching.”

    Nope, not in the NHL, at least.

    In this league, the real reaction is almost always to come back to the same game … and barely miss a beat.

    Ottawa Senators Mark Stone provides the latest example of hockey toughness, as he bounced back almost immediately from this.

    What did he do? He scored a nice goal in the Senators’ 6-1 blowout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.