Mike Modano

Modano open to role in Stars front office

If the Dallas Stars hope to get back on the sporting radar in Big D, giving Mike Modano a job might not be a bad idea.

Modano’s name alone harkens back to a time when hockey was more than an afterthought in Texas. And with the Stars under new ownership and attempting to re-forge the strong bond they once had with the community and sponsors, the charismatic American could be a valuable asset in the front office.

He’s certainly not shy about bringing attention to himself.

Interviewed on Sportsnet radio today, Modano was asked about a possible role with the club.

“Just kind of waiting and see how everything works itself out,” he said. “I think [new owner Tom Gaglardi] went out on a couple golf trips with his dad so when he gets back we’ll kind of revisit if I have a future with the Stars as well.”

Modano says he’s kept in touch and shared his thoughts with Gaglardi as the Vancouver businessman pursued the franchise.

The Stars have already re-hired Jim Lites as team president, a position he held from 1993 to 2007, save for a short stint as president and CEO of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2002.

“Having Jim Lites at the helm of the Stars is really an owner’s dream,” Gaglardi said upon being introduced as the new owner. “He knows the market, he loves the game and he is totally committed to putting the Stars back in the rightful position as one of the elite franchises in the National Hockey League. Jim knows what to do. It will take time, but it will get done.”

Modano is similarly optimistic about the future.

“It’s the fourth or fifth biggest market in the U.S. Hockey has worked (in Dallas) in the past, I think it just needs to be mended a little bit and if the performance on the ice continues I think eventually we can get (the fans) back in the building,” he said.

“I certainly hold a lot of love for the town of Dallas, for the fans and for the Dallas Stars.”

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.