Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Babcock Talks Modano

via Dan Rosen tweets,

just spoke with Mike Babcock and he’s convinced that Mike Modano will sign with the Red Wings, and play 2 years in Detroit.

Babcock said he met with Modano in Detroit earlier in the week and now believes it’s just a matter of time before he signs, but…

He also said he’s been wrong before, so it wouldn’t shock him if he is again. He doesn’t think we’ll know until Aug. 1 at the earliest.

added 12:27pm, Dan Rosen of NHL.com follows-up with at story on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock, mike+modano

Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

just spoke with Mike Babcock and he’s convinced that Mike Modano will sign with the Red Wings, and play 2 years in Detroit.

Damn it all. Looks like we’ll have to watch Ritola develop while wearing someone else’s jersey. If Modano does sign for two years, I sure hope it’s for less than the $1.25M that was mentioned the other day.

Besides the money, I really don’t like what this does to Abbi’s development. With Modano around for two years, that means he’ll have to wait until he’s 25 to get off the 4th line. And that sucks for the kid.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/16/10 at 12:51 PM ET

Avatar

PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY, PLEASE BE WRONG, KENNY.

Ugh.

Posted by Garth on 07/16/10 at 01:00 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Holland was supposed to talk with Modano again yesterday, so maybe Babs talked with Kenny and is relaying the latest news.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/16/10 at 01:02 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/16/10 at 12:00 PM ET

You mean Mike?

Damn it all. Looks like we’ll have to watch Ritola develop while wearing someone else’s jersey.

Only a Red Wings fan would be bothered by this. Only a Red Wings fan could have a false sense of worth for an average prospect that’s shown nothing exceptional about his game during his time in North American professional hockey. Every one of these guys won’t be a Zetterberg or a Datsyuk.

And like I’ve said before, the difference between Ritola and those players is that Ritola has never shown an exceptional ability. Whereas Pav always had exceptional stick-handling ability, and Zetterberg always had exceptional strength on the puck, Ritola’s game is thoroughly average. He seems like a hard worker and good kid, but bottom line, he doesn’t have a redeeming quality in his talent. If he had a shot like Hudler, or speed like Helm, or the size of Abdelkader, then I’d see a reason to be upset about this…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/16/10 at 01:06 PM ET

eternal_fields's avatar

So in a summer dominated by Red Wings fans living vicariously through Blackhawks’ Cap Issues, now it appears the shoe would be on the other foot.

Please, Modano, go to Detroit. Bring your sense of entitlement and curmudgeounly attitude with you.

Posted by eternal_fields on 07/16/10 at 01:37 PM ET

Avatar

You mean Mike?

Dammit.  Yes.

Every one of these guys won’t be a Zetterberg or a Datsyuk.

Of course not, but why not give him a chance?

now it appears the shoe would be on the other foot.

Yeah, this compares.  We’re unsure if we want one of the best American players ever to play on our team and Chicago fans are hoping their team can ice a full roster.

Also, how does one live vicariously through an issue?

Posted by Garth on 07/16/10 at 01:55 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

So in a summer dominated by Red Wings fans living vicariously through Blackhawks’ Cap Issues, now it appears the shoe would be on the other foot.

Posted by eternal_fields on 07/16/10 at 12:37 PM ET

Not sure I understand you. First of all, while we may relish seeing an old rival fall hard after their greatest success in decades, I think as Wings fans we’ve got plenty from the last 15 years to celebrate…

Second of all, I fail to see how “the shoe would be on the other foot.” If anything, the shoe was on the Wings’ foot last offseason, and now this offseason it is on the Hawks’. It’s not as if they will sign Modano for anything over the $1 million range, so I fail to see how this signing would give them cap issues.

The Wings’ cap issues come from a few things:
1) Their ability to draft has stocked them with talent that has had to be paid.
2) They made the decision to sign Hossa with the cap space they had a couple off-seasons ago in an attempt to go back-to-back. It was a risk/reward that almost paid off, and I certainly wouldn’t take it back. Though in hindsight, their attempts to keep Hossa long-term may have made it more difficult for them to negotiate similarly with Hudler or Samuelsson.
3) The Wings have probably been a bit too loyal to the likes of Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby. It’s not a lot of cap space that these two have taken up the last couple years, but it adds up.

The Wings don’t really have a bad contract on the books right now. The only thing that comes close is the Filppula contract, just in the sense that he hasn’t reached the club’s expectations yet. But even that contract is small enough that if he doesn’t reach their expectations, it wouldn’t be difficult to find a taker in a trade.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/16/10 at 02:08 PM ET

eternal_fields's avatar

Right you are. No denying what you have to celebrate. Perhaps I was unclear when I said

now it appears the shoe would be on the other foot.

.

What I meant is that I am enjoying seeing some of you squirm as your team (possibly) courts a past-tense player . . . an endeavor the Hawks had cornered the market on in years past.

Posted by eternal_fields on 07/16/10 at 02:16 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Of course not, but why not give him a chance?

He’s had a chance. He’s played three essentially full seasons in Grand Rapids, and been right around a point every other game. Additionally, as I’ve said a million times now, when you watch him play, tell me, what is the specific quality or talent you see in his game that makes him worth continuing to invest in?

Datsyuk used to be unable to shoot the puck and was weak on his feat. But he could dangle dangle.

Zetterberg used to pull his groin just from sitting up in the morning. He too didn’t have enough muscle. But the puck stuck to him like glue wherever he went.

Jiri Hudler was slow, is still pretty slow, and doesn’t have a great understanding of defense. But he can shoot the puck top corner every time.

Tomas Holmstrom… well, let’s just say it. He does nothing well. Except for chase loose pucks and deflect shots. Otherwise, he’s a crummy skater, can barely shoot or pass, and is about as useless as a pylon when he’s inside his own blueline.

When the Wings find guys, they have that one exceptional quality to go along with all their foibles. Datsyuk and Zetterberg both got much stronger and learned to play in the hard areas. Both players learned to shoot the puck accurately and with a little bit of zip. Hudler worked hard on his skating and at least has average NHL speed now. Homer’s hands have softened as he’s gotten on in years, and his goal scoring has improved as a result. But all those guys improved upon a single core competency that was highly unique and highly skilled.

Show me that with Ritola and I’d want to keep him around too.

I don’t WANT to lose him, but this is the cost of doing business. Agonizing over a player that has been slightly above average at the AHL level (for his position) for THREE seasons is not worth it when you have a chance to improve your third scoring line by adding a proven NHL scoring line pivot.

Despite the troubles last season, the Wings are still equipped to win a Cup now. As such, they have to balance between their future and the present. If the only real price to improving the team in the short term is giving up a player that hasn’t shown the chops to be better than what the Wings have regularly pulled off the free agent scrap heap, you have to do it.

If they were giving up on Kindl, Ericsson, Helm, or Abdelkader, then I’d have a problem… but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Abdelkader will still get minutes on the fourth unit, and the team will be able to give that unit ice time because it will be a very good fourth line, and will take minutes off the top two lines, which they need.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/16/10 at 02:22 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

What I meant is that I am enjoying seeing some of you squirm as your team (possibly) courts a past-tense player . . . an endeavor the Hawks had cornered the market on in years past.

Posted by eternal_fields on 07/16/10 at 01:16 PM ET

Our team has continually courted “past-tense” players and turned it into hockey’s ultimate success. I’m not concerned about this like some of my fellow fans seem to be.

He will be relatively cheap, and as such, if he truly turns out to be a dud, it’s pretty easy to sweep under the rug, like the Jason Williams Part 2 experiment.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/16/10 at 02:23 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

What I meant is that I am enjoying seeing some of you squirm as your team (possibly) courts a past-tense player . . . an endeavor the Hawks had cornered the market on in years past.

I appreciate the clarification there.  I didn’t figure that you were seriously considering parallels between the Hawks this summer and the Wings.

Still, I think there’s a difference between signing a guy who’s past his prime for minutes on our third line and signing that guy and needing him to be a big contributor (like Minnesota would). 

I’m just relieved that there are Blackhawks fans who can remember the lean years and won’t let your relative rarity or the annoying attitude of many of your contemporaries negatively shade my opinion of you personally.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/16/10 at 02:33 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Only a Red Wings fan could have a false sense of worth for an average prospect that’s shown nothing exceptional about his game during his time in North American professional hockey.

Well, Nathan, if you go back and read what I actually wrote, you’ll see that I never said anything about Ritola’s potential worth. My objections to signing Modano were that (1) we’ll never get to see exactly what Ritola’s worth is except by watching him play for someone else and (2) the development of Abbi will be delayed.

As for Ritola being an “average” prospect, I would simply point you to the fact that the Wings thought enough of him to sign him to a three-year contract this spring. So maybe they know something about his potential that you don’t. smile

But just so I’m crystal clear about what my original post was about, my biggest objection to the Wings signing Modano is that it will slow down the development of Abbi as a 3rd-line center. Got it?

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/16/10 at 02:54 PM ET

Matt Saler's avatar

Totally with OlderThanChelios on Abdelkader. Is no one else?

Posted by Matt Saler from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/16/10 at 03:03 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I agree that slowing down Abdelkader’s development as a third-line center is a bad thing and I don’t particularly like that, but before Modano started waffling, I thought bringing in Mo would bring benefit to outweigh that negative.  You can’t always avoid all negatives.

To be clear though, when Modano went back on his “Detroit or retire” statement, I stopped wanting him on the Wings.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/16/10 at 03:15 PM ET

Matt Saler's avatar

You can’t always avoid all negatives.

You should be able to when the supposed positives are so thin. Modano racked up 30 points last year. It’s not entirely inconceivable that Abdelkader could match that with a full season of third line centering responsibility and he’ll be around longer than a season or two to boot.

I’d argue that a 40-year-old adjusting to a new team, a new system and, maybe most important, a veteran unfriendly coach,  is less likely to do have that kind of production.

So you set back Abdelkader’s development with maybe a weak excuse that he can learn from a veteran who may or may not have the inclination to teach.

And that doesn’t even cover the fact that signing Modano will hurt the PK and possibly make the third pairing dangerously weak. If Miller’s the odd man out in favor of the Wings’ investment in Ritola, will Modano step in and kill Miller’s penalties? If Khan’s number of $1.25 million is correct and the Wings end up being priced out of a veteran defenseman, do you love the idea of an all-youth third pairing when the pressure’s on in the second round? I don’t.

But hey, we’ll have Mike Modano! If his 40-year-old legs haven’t given out by then. Not every 40-year-old is Nick Lidstrom. Or Chris Chelios.

Posted by Matt Saler from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/16/10 at 03:27 PM ET

perfection's avatar

all of these points are of course valid… but, it’s a calculated gamble that I think is weighed against the fact that we only have Nick Lidstrom for 1-2 more seasons. That is the pressure to “win now”. of course we need to develop the kids and of course we don’t want to lose a future prospect, but this is Mike Modano we’re talking about. Sure he’s been rather uninspired in Dallas the last couple of seasons (since they stripped him of the captaincy I think), but this is a hall of famer here, not a Jason Williams. This is a Brett Hull, Chris Chelios, Igor Larionov, or Larry Murphy. Might he be average? Of course. And would the Wings be in trouble if they didn’t get him? Of course not. But if you can ice a third line of a hall of famer in the center with Hudler and Cleary on his wings and do it for a million bucks… there’s really no choice. Plus you factor in playing in his hometown for a team with realistic expectations… how do you not go for it? Fact is, while we have to think long term, life changes once Lids retires and it definitely makes sense to go hard for one more cup while he’s still around. Can we win it without Modano? Absolutely. Does adding him increase our chances? Absolutely. I don’t think it’s predetermined who will be the odd man out if Modano is signed. I think that will be decided in camp and preseason. I hate to say it, but when longterm considerations are taken into account, I think Kris Draper is the most expendable player on the team. He’s the same age as Modano, has about the same contract, adds the same leadership qualities, but Modano is clearly an upgrade, especially since Helmer’s taken over Drapes’ speed role and Miller and Eaves have taken over his PK role. Plus it’s Draper’s last year on his contract. I understand we may be too loyal to waive Kris Draper, but I’d probably do it over losing a prospect. Either way, I think signing Mike Modano, while risky, is a risk well worth taking. Whatever skills/drive he has left will be definitely be maximized on the Wings. Holland really has no choice in at least trying.

With all of this said, I’m still concerned about the last d-pair as well. It’ll be interesting to see how that shakes out.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/16/10 at 03:59 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I can’t disagree with you on the attitude aspects of the game, because that’s what turned me off of Modano, but let’s pretend that he had signed the $1.25M offer before any of this stuff came out.

It may not be entirely inconceivable that Abdelkader could get as many points as Modano centering the third line, but let’s face the likelihood of which person is going to outperform the other.  30 points on our third line and 2nd PP unit would be a criminal underperformance by Modano while it would be considered a pretty big step forward for Abdeldkader.

Second, assuming that I didn’t think of Modano as a waffling piece of crap, I’m not so worried about him learning the system or Babcock.  Mikey Mo knows hockey.  After all, he put up 30 points last year on Dallas’ fourth line with people much less talented than Cleary and Hudler.

The good thing about being a Babcock coached team is that just about any of our forwards can play the PK.  Miller is not so unreplaceable that losing him would crush the Wings.  Draper/Helm/Eaves/Abdelkader/Cleary/Filppula/Datsyuk/Zetterberg can all play PK forward.  Sure, I’d rather that none of the last three mentioned were required to do that, but they could in a pinch.  Ideally, Modano’s production would more than make up for the loss of Miller’s PK ability.

I don’t love the idea of an all-youth third pairing when the pressure is on in the 2nd round at all.  Fortunately, we’re 9 months from there and most of those months are spent developing players and enjoying the ability to make trades if needed.  I hope that Kindl and Ericsson turn out to be a stud 3rd pairing by next april.  If they’re not, I hope Ericsson gets traded while he still has value.  It’s not like there aren’t going to be sellers at the trade deadline this year.  If the worst we need to worry about is picking up a veteran D-man for our third pairing, then we’re in better shape than the year we picked up Brad Stuart.

I understand non-waffley Modano was an injury risk and that he might not hold up.  It’s just a risk that I think is outweighed by its rewards, just like hurting Abdelkader’s development as third line center (since he would presumably be moved to fourth line center and would get a ton of extra playing time if Modano’s 40-year old legs can’t hold out.)

Again, completely moot point, because I think that Modano’s attitude over the last week has made him a bigger risk than his rewards are worth, so I again agree with the concept that I don’t want him on my team.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/16/10 at 04:12 PM ET

perfection's avatar

i’m surprised you put so much emotional weight in his “waffling”.

a few obvious points - deciding whether or not to even play after being forced off the only team you’ve ever known can’t be easy. it has to make every decision that much harder because of the roller coaster emotional strain. but, i realize you’re talking about waffling from the “Red Wings or retire” thing.

the next point: his wife probably has a say in this. seems pretty obvious why she would be pushing California and the Sharks are definitely a cheap, knockoff, child labor produced version of the Red Wings. no surprise he’d at least listen to what they have to say.

also - he made a comment to the Dallas media early on that while part of him would LOVE to be on the Wings team, another part of him only wants to see his family once in a while. I think that playing in front of his parents game in and game out is actually really a complicated thing for him - both amazing and horrific sounding all at the same time. I can definitely relate to that feeling.

i’d think the Wings are still his best option and I think he knows it. obviously Babcock agrees. I really don’t know how you can fault him for being indecisive in this particular instance. There’s a lot of opposing forces and all of those forces are going through the prism of rejection from the franchise which he is the face of. It’s a rough situation. All the more reason I think he will pick the Wings as well.

Ironically - Eklund came out with his “Modano to the Wings post” rumor today. I assume he saw the Babcock interview too smile

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/16/10 at 04:31 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

... but, but, but
what number will MM wear?(!!!)

//sigh//

(Is it October yet?)

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 07/16/10 at 04:34 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I am not sure I like this, nothing against Modano
- We have to sign Abby and Helm
- A 6th D man would be nice, I watched Meech with Red Rebels and I couldn’t figure out if he was a Forward or a D Man.  I still don’t think I have figured this out.
- A bit of a “Goon” who can skate, shot, would be nice
- I think we should get Rirola in somehow, Maltby gone
- If we could have all of the above then Modano is OK, but NOT 2 years

Anyway all of the above is probably impossible.  If it is a sure thing? for Modano why is he travelling around being wined and dined by Sharks, Minny.  Decide already!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/16/10 at 04:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by perfection on 07/16/10 at 03:31 PM ET

I understand that he’s got a ton to weigh and a lot going on, but I can’t get past the “wings or retire” statement.  I know that’s probably petty of me, but if he wasn’t ready to sign the contract that night, he shouldn’t have said that to the press.  It soured me on him.

I’m at the point right now where I’m not sure how much more time he needs to weigh all his options, but rather where I’m starting to think that he’s enjoying the amount of attention he’s been getting.  This is hockey’s version of Brett Favre and if that guy hadn’t been pulling this same stunt for what feels like ten years now, I’d probably go easier on Modano, but I’d rather hear nothing out of a guy than contradictory quotes.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/16/10 at 04:49 PM ET

perfection's avatar

i’m sure he meant it when he said it but has since been bombarded with opinions from his wife, acting agent, old friends, etc.

IMO Modano has never seemed like the type to be seeking attention or press. I genuinely feel for the guy. while you compare him to Farvre, it’s hard for me to not replace him with Yzerman and Dallas with the Wings as a way of empathizing just how difficult a situation this must be. It’s understandable to be a bit indecisive. if he ends up signing with the Wings then those statements wouldn’t have been contradictory and you probably shouldn’t hold it against him;)

...if he signs with the Sharks on the other hand…

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/16/10 at 04:58 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

He may be sticking to his word, if he signs with Detroit… we’ll never know if he’d have retired or not.  LOL

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 07/16/10 at 05:23 PM ET

calquake's avatar

My biggest problem with Abby centering Hudler and Cleary is that IMHO he’s not a set-up kind of center.  I believe Modano is.  It’s a risk worth taking.  Abby will get his minutes on the 4th line and fill in on the 3rd line when there are injuries… and there will be injuries.  I waffled just like MikeyMo as I was initially all for the signing then against it when he didn’t commit right away.  As more time passes I realize that Tick-Tock is exactly right.  Modano has to decide if he wants to commit to training and the Red Wings.  If he commits he will be an asset to the Wings.  He deserves the time to make up his mind.  His quote was wrong but maybe he believed what he said “at that time”.  Try to win now while building the future.  Modano gives the Wings a better shot at the Cup now than any of the players he is rumored to be replacing.

Posted by calquake on 07/16/10 at 06:15 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Injuries are not going to disappear just because we had more than our share last year.
When it is our vets in the mash unit, we are going to be thankful we have enough experience to keep the youngsters calm and focused.  Modano is a bit flakey when dealing with the media or trying to express himself, but he has always come to play.  I don’t care how talented your young players are, they can get sucked into mediocrity from game to game when paired with the wrong teammates until they are 28 to 30 years old.
And besides…
We should just leave it up to Kenny and enjoy our summer.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 07/16/10 at 06:18 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Ritola

Sure, he can prove to be valuable, but it’s more likely he doesn’t. And while I understand, as a Wings fan, the feeling that every prospect can be an All-Star, I don’t remember anyone defending Ritola before this Modano talk, so it sounds like an argument used by people who don’t want Modano but can’t think of a good reason other than a marginal prospect.

And sure, he just signed a three-year contract, but do you remember the first one is two-way?

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 07/16/10 at 06:25 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Another point about Ritola: even without Modano, he’s going to be spending most of his time in the press box anyway. And he’ll be joined by one of Draper/Maltby/Miller/Abby and maybe Eaves on a nightly basis.

I’m to lazy to go hunt down the original quote, but I thought I remembered him saying “it looks like Detroit or retire” meaning no one else was interested at the time. I’m getting a bit irritated with the constant will he/wont he reports, but I don’t hold it against him for taking his time.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/16/10 at 07:21 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Can someone please tell me why we care so much about this Ritola kid?  Diva or not, I’ll take Modano.  I think he’s acting like a bitch, but I also think that if he decides to join The Dynasty he’ll come to play every night. 

Nice to see Eternal Fields back to his sobbing anti-Wings rants.  He’s already a fixture on the A2Y sidebar. Maybe if he cries a bit more we’ll put him in the banner.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/16/10 at 07:36 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Can someone please tell me why we care so much about this Ritola kid?

Because if he doesn’t make the team then we can’t shout his name from the rafters at JLA.  You know… “RIII-TOOO-LAAA”. cheese

Posted by calquake on 07/16/10 at 08:34 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Chief, it’s because Ritola is much younger.  Plain and simple.

Modano ain’t getting any better, only worse.  Ritola still at least has potential to improve…

Posted by Primis on 07/16/10 at 08:34 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

My biggest problem with Abby centering Hudler and Cleary is that IMHO he’s not a set-up kind of center.

Well, maybe that’s because he’s never played between guys like Happy and Cleary. The only way to find out is to give him a chance. With Modano in the lineup, he won’t get that chance. And, even worse, he’ll play the wing on the 4th line because the center’s job is Helm’s.

Ritola

Sure, he can prove to be valuable, but it’s more likely he doesn’t.

This is what bugs me the most about the whole Ritola discussion. The general concensus seems to be that he’s basically worthless.

So, let me just share this little observation about Mattias: “He’s just a tremendous guy with the puck. He can score, he can beat you 1-on-1, he can make a great play. He’s an offensively-dangerous guy.” Those are the words of someone most of you think very highly of – Hakan Andersson.

And here’s how Matthew Wuest at RedWingsCentral.com describes his strengths and weaknesses…

STRENGTHS
Smart two-way player ... Good stickhandler who protects the puck well in the corners and along the boards ... Can beat players 1-on-1 at the AHL level ... Able to score and set up plays ... Work ethic and competitive level have grown by leaps and bounds ... Showing great dedication to become an NHLer, coming to North America, embracing a different style of play, and learning to show up for every shift of every game ... Capable on both special-team units.

WEAKNESSES
Skilled, but may not have enough to be a scoring-line player ... Continued improvement in traffic areas will help him ... Consistent point production has been a problem.

From my past experience, Wuest knows more about Wings prospects than almost anyone outside of the Wings organization. So, maybe it would be nice to see if one of the Wings own prospects could make it in Detroit instead of bringing in a guy who’s on his second farewell tour.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/16/10 at 08:35 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 07/16/10 at 07:35 PM ET

I’m not sure why you’re assuming that Detroit will lose Ritola if he doesn’t make the team.  Not every guy that goes through waivers is taken by another team.  I’m too lazy to look it up but I guarantee you that players who are a name now passed thru waivers before they found their game.  Ritola has been observed by all of the Red Wing braintrust.  If they were that high on Ritola they would find a way to keep him.  Hell, if he’s all that and a bag of chips, I expect Yzerman to scoop him up for Tampa Bay… and frankly I din’t see that happening.

Posted by calquake on 07/16/10 at 08:57 PM ET

calquake's avatar

oops… or “don’t”.

Posted by calquake on 07/16/10 at 08:59 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I’m not sure why you’re assuming that Detroit will lose Ritola if he doesn’t make the team.  Not every guy that goes through waivers is taken by another team.

Well, Cal, I hope you’re right about that if they do try to send him down. But he’s got skills and he’s signed for three years @ $500k per year. Somebody is going to take a chance on a guy like that – even if they only want him as their 13th forward at the start of the season.

The bottom line for me is that I’d like to see the Wings give one of their own prospects a chance instead of gambling on a 40-year-old like Modano, especially at $1.25M. I mean, come on. Is that too much to ask? Oh, right. It may well be. Rats. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/17/10 at 12:27 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com