Mike Modano

Report: Modano expected to headline 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class


According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Mike Modano is “expected to be among the names announced” when the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame names its 2012 inductees on Wednesday.

If accurate, the decision won’t be much of a surprise. The 42-year-old is the all-time goals and points leader among American-born NHL players.

Modano also routinely represented the U.S. internationally, winning a gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Modano retired after an injury-riddled 2010-11 season in Detroit. He’d signed with the Wings at age 40 after spending 20 years with the Minnesota/Dallas organization and still remains the Stars’ all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played.

Built in 1973, the U.S. HHOF honors outstanding coaches, players, builders and administrators that contributed to the success and promotion of American Hockey.

Last year’s inductees included NHL on NBC analyst Mike “Doc” Emrick along with ex-NHLers Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick and Gary Suter. Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider was also inducted.

As for the 2012 class, other possible inductees (based on who finished their playing careers in 2011) include Doug Weight, Chris Drury and Brian Rafalski.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season-opener after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.