While Mike Modano won’t be going back to Dallas to play for the Stars, it appears he’s content to sit back and wait for teams to sort their situations out before getting antsy to sign somewhere else. The Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika caught up with Modano to find out where he’s at while he’s searching for new employment on the ice.
Mike Modano has had his best conversations so far with Detroit, but neither side is ready to commit yet.
Modano said he is going to be patient, and said that as free agency shakes out, the picture will become more clear.
“It all came back in a rush, really,” he said. “I really have been through this before, so it’s not that new. There’s a lot more texting now, but you still just try to ask questions and answer what they want. It’s a lot of waiting around, that’s the tough part.”
As of now, Detroit is the only team to express any interest in Modano and being a Livonia, Michigan native probably has as much to do with that as it does with Modano still being a serviceable centerman even at 40 years-old. Modano being patient during free agency may have more to do with a lack of interest than it does anything else. As for what Wings GM Ken Holland thinks of Modano, his words are kind and honest as well.
“He’s a local boy, a (future) Hall of Famer, yeah, I’m interested,” Holland said. “We’ve had good success through the years in getting the most out of players that are nearing the end.”
Modano is likely only looking for a simple, one-year contract just to keep playing and he’d likely fit in well with what Detroit does on the ice and the Wings surely don’t shy away from veterans. That said, Detroit has to take care of some of their restricted free agents first and then shuffle things around if they’re going to bring in Modano. If he’s willing to wait that out, it could take some time before he settles in there. Until then, perhaps another suitor may come out of the woodwork that could more easily fit Modano into their plans.
Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.
The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.
Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.
“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”
Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.
“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”
OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.