Book it: Mike Modano to sign with Detroit Red Wings

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Modano3.jpgIt appears that our long, national soap opera of the summer is over.

No, not the one involving Ilya Kovalchuk. Nor is it the one involving Brett Favre, that one just got renewed for another season. It’s the one about a local guy who left home to play in the NHL for 20 years away from home is going back home to close out his career. You didn’t know that one? Sure you did, just under another name.

Mike Modano is going to be a Detroit Red Wing, and you’ll be surprised to hear who it was that helped sell him on the idea of playing for the Red Wings.

Since he couldn’t stay in Dallas and wasn’t ready for retirement, Mike Modano made the logical choice: He’s going home.

The native of suburban Detroit has agreed to a one-year deal with the Red Wings. He confirmed his decision in a text message to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The answer came while playing golf in Scotland with former Dallas teammate Marty Turco, the goaltender who signed with Chicago on Monday.

“It was a lot of back and forth internally, but I ultimately decided I wasn’t ready to hang up the skates so I’m going to Detroit,” Modano told ScoreBoard Monthly, the Dallas sports magazine that first reported the move.

Modano said he spoke with Minnesota and San Jose, but was swayed by discussions with Brett Hull and other former and current Red Wings.

“They all told me what a great organization and city it is to play in,” he said. “And mix in the incredible talent they have playing there and it kind of made my decision for me.”

I can’t imagine what Dallas Stars fans think of this turn of events. After all, it was Hull that played with Dallas and helped win them the Stanley Cup in 1999. Hull later went on to play for the Red Wings and won a Cup there in 2002 but returned to the Stars as a co-general manager only to give up that position to Joe Nieuwendyk. If anyone would know what it’s like to play in Detroit towards the end of their career, it would be Hull.

For Stars fans, however, this choice by Modano isn’t at all comparable to that of Hull’s. While Hull and Modano were keys to winning that Cup in 1999, Hull wasn’t a lifetime-long Dallas Star, Modano is, or rather he was. Modano’s time with the organization goes back to the days in Minnesota as the North Stars playing in Bloomington. Mike Modano has always been a Star and will always be recognized as one. About the only thing that might fuzz up some fans memories would be having Modano lift the Stanley Cup in June 2011 in a Red Wings jersey, a scene that might cause more heartache and anger in Dallas.

If you’re wondering what number he’ll be wearing as a Red Wing, it won’t be 9 as that’s hanging from the rafters of Joe Louis Arena. Instead, Modano will be wearing a different uniform with the number 9 present in it. He’ll be wearing the number 90.

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    Mumps outbreak hits Canucks, five players to miss Sharks game

    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Troy Stecher #51 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on February 11, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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    The mumps are back.

    Three years after a league-wide outbreak sidelined a slew of players, the Canucks have announced that d-man Troy Stecher has been diagnosed with mumps, while four other players — Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund — have presented symptoms.

    More, from the club:

    The team has worked from the outset with the Vancouver Health Authority, NHL, NHLPA and BC Centre for Disease Control to minimize transmission of the illness.

    In keeping with BC Centre of Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines, players presenting symptoms are immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.

    Vaccines are also being administered to minimize further risk of contraction along with universal preventative hygiene measures as recommended by Vancouver Coastal Health including disinfecting all dressing room areas.

    Vancouver’s in the midst of its bye week. Saturday’s home date against the Sharks will be its first since a 3-2 loss to Philly on Sunday.

    Given that Stecher’s out and the other four are being quarantined, the Canucks project to be severely undermanned tomorrow. There was no immediate announcement for AHL recall plans, or emergency roster replacements.

    Following Saturday’s game, Vancouver is back in action again on Tuesday, when it hosts Detroit.

    Stars trade Patrick Eaves to Ducks

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17: Patrick Eaves #18 of the Dallas Stars skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 17, 2017 in New York City. The Stars defeated the Rangers 7-6.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Anaheim Ducks have acquired winger Patrick Eaves in a trade with the Dallas Stars. The cost was a conditional second-round draft pick in 2017.

    Eaves, 32, is enjoying a career year with 21 goals in 59 games. A pending unrestricted free agent, his cap hit is just $1 million. It was expected that he’d be traded prior to next week’s deadline.

    Eaves join a Ducks team that could use a few more goals. Of note, Corey Perry has struggled offensively, scoring just 11 times in 62 games.

    Below is the condition on the draft pick, which could turn into a first-round selection.

    Based on draft position, Dallas will receive the middle pick of Ottawa, San Jose or Toronto’s second-round selections in 2017 per the conditions in which Anaheim acquired the pick from Toronto in a previous trade. Should Anaheim advance to the third round of the postseason and Eaves plays in 50% or more of their games in the first two rounds, the selection becomes the Ducks first-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft.

    Related: The Wild have options in search for forward depth

    Bickell to play first game since MS diagnosis

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 13: Paul Postma #4 of the Winnipeg Jets and Bryan Bickell #29 of the Carolina Hurricanes head to the Carolina zone during NHL action on October 22, 2016 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
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    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell is expected to skate in his first hockey game since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

    The Hurricanes assigned Bickell to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte on Friday and say he’s expected to play for the Checkers on Saturday night.

    The move came a day after he was placed on waivers in a procedural move that allowed the team to send him to the minors.

    Bickell, 30, has been out since October, was diagnosed with MS in November and was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 11.

    The three-time Stanley Cup winner with Chicago has been practicing with the Hurricanes for the past month.

    Rutherford says Schultz extension ‘definitely a priority’ this summer

    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 06:  Justin Schultz #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks on before a face off against the New Jersey Devils on March 6, 2016 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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    Justin Schultz‘s career has done a virtual 180 since joining Pittsburgh at last year’s trade deadline, and the Pens have made it clear they’d like to keep him around beyond this season.

    “We have not [discussed an extension with Schultz],” GM Jim Rutherford said, per the Post-Gazette. “But he will definitely be a priority for us in the offseason.”

    Acquired for a third-round pick last February, Schultz proved to be one of Rutherford’s best moves (part of the reason why Rutherford captured NHL GM of the Year). The former Oilers rearguard had seven points through 18 regular-season games and then thrived once getting into the playoff mix, helping Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup.

    He was signed to a modest one-year, $1.4 million extension last summer, which has turned out to be another Rutherford masterstroke.

    Schultz has been vitally important for a Pittsburgh defense decimated by injury. His TOI is way up — 19:15 per game — and his offensive contributions have been outstanding. The 26-year-old has nine goals and 39 points through 56 games, putting him tops among all Pens d-men (and tied for seventh among all NHL blueliners).

    Schultz is a pending RFA, and in line for a pretty big raise. The Post-Gazette suggested it could cost Pittsburgh $4-$5 million annually to keep him around, meaning Rutherford will have his work cut out. Chris Kunitz, Nick Bonino and Trevor Daley are all pending UFAs, while fellow d-man Brian Dumoulin is also restricted come July 1.

    Rutherford will also need to deal with the Marc-Andre Fleury issue, specifically how to mitigate Fleury’s $5.75 million cap hit.