On a day where the Red Wings were beyond excited to introduce Mike Modano as the newest member of the Detroit Red Wings, you had to figure that somewhere a story about his signing with one of the Dallas Stars’ biggest rivals was going to pop up discussing the reasons for doing so. Having that story come from Mike Modano’s wife, Willa Ford was an unexpected turn of events.
Mlive.com’s Ansar Khan got the low-down from the part-time pop star and actress turned hockey wife and Stars fans might have someone to finally point their anger over Modano’s departure towards.
Mike Modano holds no grudges towards the Dallas Stars for not re-signing him, but he admits their decision not to bring him back will motivate him this season.
His wife, Mandy, an actress who goes by the stage name Willa Ford, seems even more motivated.
“I think it was more so on my wife’s radar than anything,” Modano said. “She wanted me to go play, and especially in Detroit to kind of shove it up everybody’s … you know.
“That was her precise words and she felt it was a great opportunity to do that in Detroit and loved the Red Wings and knew it was one of our rivals. She felt going in there and having the chance to play with good players was a real good opportunity.”
While we’ve seen other sports have their fair share of high-profile wives (pitcher Kris Benson’s wife Anna comes to mind) and the NHL has more than enough starlet girlfriends/wives (Hillary Duff with Mike Comrie and Carrie Underwood with Mike Fisher) having said spouse come out in such a feisty manner is something completely new for the NHL. Even going back to the days of Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones, she never really spoke out about Wayne playing in Edmonton although The Great One being dealt to Los Angeles worked out pretty well for her modeling/acting career.
To have her speak out so as to want her husband to join Detroit solely to “shove it up Dallas’ you-know-what”… That’s the kind of smack-talk we enjoy seeing around these parts. While I doubt we’ll see Willa Ford get the same kind of treatment by television cameras that Kate Hudson got during the 2009 World Series while rooting for her then-boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, we can only imagine that Mrs. Modano’s trip to Dallas for the Wings game with the Stars on October 14th might be a bit uncomfortable with her getting booed in the press box will be prime footage for the folks in Texas.
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.
Read more about his rise here.
In his fifth NHL game, intriguing Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored his first NHL goal (and point).
Let’s be honest, though; Evgeny Kuznetsov deserves plenty of the credit, as he sent a fantastic pass for Vrana’s tap-in tally.
See it for yourself:
Even if that was mostly Kuznetsov, Vrana has been getting his chances so far.
He generated four shots on goal in two separate occasions so far in his four games of NHL action, so maybe he was due for a chance like this.
Considering he’s just 20 years old, the Capitals could get used to Kuznetsov to Vrana.
Update: The Capitals won 4-1, and Vrana’s first goal wasn’t the only noteworthy “first.” After piling on shots, John Carlson finally scored his first goal of the season:
No one’s going to confuse Dmitry Kulikov with Jack Eichel, but the Buffalo Sabres are likely happy to have him back after a long absence, too.
The Sabres have been on an upward trend lately (5-2-2 in their last nine games), and now they get a key defenseman back against the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
Kulikov last played on Nov. 9 and hasn’t recorded a point in 12 games, making for a tough start to his stint with the Sabres. Maybe he’ll begin to get a little more traction with his new team tonight?
He’s far from the only returning Buffalo player, either, as Josh Gorges and Nicolas Deslauriers are also back in the mix. Kulikov is slated to be on the Sabres’ second pairing with Cody Franson.
Buffalo sent Brendan Guhle to the AHL to make room for these tweaks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without captain Nick Foligno because of an illness on Friday, opening up an opportunity for interesting prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand.
The team tweeted out his linemates as Matt Calvert and Lukas Sedlak as a solid fourth line facing the Detroit Red Wings.
He failed to generate much (zero points, two shots on goal) in three games so far with Columbus this season, receiving about 25 minutes of ice time over that span.
With eight goals and 12 points in 19 AHL games so far in 2016-17, there’s the thought that he could eventually make the next step to becoming a decent contributor for the Blue Jackets.
Perhaps this will constitute his first real step in that direction?
Apparently this is a pretty abrupt situation for the 21-year-old: