Tag: travel complaints

Patrick Marleau, Mike Smith

Sharks, Coyotes to travel most miles next season


The release of the NHL schedule is an exciting day for fans, but it’s one where teams can look ahead to see how many miles they’ll be logging on the road. For some teams, that means spending a bit more time in airports than others.

Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck released his annual report on how many miles each team will travel for the upcoming season and if you’re a Sharks player you might want to look away.

San Jose will travel the most of any team next year logging 57,612 miles. Phoenix was second with 52,633 and Colorado third with 49,007. For a frame of reference, the league average this year is 41,390.

Teams that don’t get to complain? Look no further than the tri-state area as the New York Rangers (29,839) and New York Islanders (29,933) are the only two teams with fewer than 30,000 miles to travel.

As for the teams who moved East, Detroit and Columbus are seeing a huge break in travel. The Red Wings will travel over 7,500 fewer miles this season while the Blue Jackets have over 6,200 fewer. Less time spent in airports is a great thing for any team.

As for back-to-back sets of games, New Jersey (22) and Carolina (20) can file their complaints as they’ve got the most in the league while Colorado, San Jose, and Winnipeg all have just 10 sets of back-to-back games.

Mike Modano wasn’t a big fan of traveling in the playoffs with Detroit

Mike Modano

Mike Modano’s season last year in Detroit went about as poorly as you could imagine. For a guy that was 40 years-old and perhaps looking to play his swan song season in the NHL, getting his wrist sliced open by a skate and missing most of the season and then winding up a healthy scratch for most of the games after he returned it made for a rough season.

When the playoffs rolled around, Modano found himself in the press box more often than not and while that was disappointing enough for the 21-season veteran, apparently he didn’t care too much for how the Red Wings went about getting from Detroit to both Phoenix and San Jose.

Steve Schrader from The Detroit Free Press tells us about how Modano didn’t much care for the rigors of travel with the Red Wings and their team airplane while not actively helping them out on the ice.

“Back and forth to Phoenix and back and forth to San Jose?” Modano said in that interview with a Dallas radio station.

“On that little puddle-jumper they got? We gotta stop in Nebraska and refuel? Fill up the gas tank and go the rest of the way to San Jose? That bird can’t make it on one tank of gas. They got a new one this summer.”

What, Redbird, the pride of the Little Caesars fleet?

“So going to San Jose, say we leave at probably noon Detroit time — that’s 9 o’clock out there,” Modano said. “We roll in around 4 or 5 o’clock San Jose time.

“When I first heard that, I was like, ‘I never heard that story from anybody else,’ ’cause I never talked to Hullie and all these guys about playing in Detroit.

“Brett brought up the plane, you know, wait till you see this thing, but he never mentioned if you go to the West Coast, you gotta stop somewhere to get some gas. I’m like, what?”

All right so it wasn’t premium accommodations but it’s not as if the pilot of the plane started taking a bat to it to “make it look mean” either.

While Modano is still making up his mind whether or not he’s going to retire this summer, he’s still technically a free agent. Chances are if there’s not a spot for him in Detroit, he’s likely done in the NHL as Detroit was his “homecoming” place to go before last season. Finding a spot on anyone’s roster for a 41 year-old center coming off a year that saw him play just a handful of games thanks to injury and couldn’t crack the lineup in the playoffs doesn’t seem too likely.

Modano probably wanted to go out riding a little bit higher into the sunset, but unless he takes a pay cut or doesn’t mind being a part-time player, this could be it for him. It’s up to him to decide if he wants to stick around but if he does want to keep playing, other teams might make the decision to retire for him.