Just to clarify: I'm talking about the Stars home opener, as Mike was in the below interview on Fox 4, KDFW. Even when Mike talks nowadays, it's clear the the line between "us" and "them" is a little blurred. The graphic on the screen displays a disturbing "Detroit Red Wings Center" but it's evident from the language of the video that even Mike knows that Dallas is really home (or is at least conscious of his audience...)
I, like so many of you, have been bitter about the Modano situation in recent days; Accepting of the why but not liking the result. Thinking of him in red is fairly unbearable and we've all had to accept the reality of it as the summer has rolled along. Most folks express displeasure at the Stars themselves while others question how Mike could possibly decide on Detroit... Seeing him in this video makes me forget all of that for a second.
He's still the same old likable, charismatic Mike in this video, and he's coming back here after this meaningless year in Detroit, that much is certain. The term "home" is used too often with Mike and Detroit. He hasn't lived there since 1984, by his own admission. Home will be Dallas when it's all said and done. Enjoy the incomparable, impossible to hate Mike Modano:
More after the jump....
Leading up to the July 1 UFA period, Yzerman stressed the idea of getting a second NHL goaltender under contract with the expected departure of the Antero Niittymaki. He wasted no time signing former Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis. This particular signing is intriguing because this re-unites a goaltending duo from when both players were in the Dallas Stars organization.
The other is Mike Smith, in case you didn't know.
If you like to follow former Stars great Ken Hitchcock, he's involved in leading the Under 18 team in Canada...
Former NHL all-star Brendan Shanahan, now working for the league as a vice-president of hockey and business, said "it's a great opportunity for these players" to be examined by NHL coaches and managers prior to starting their draft seasons. Ken Hitchcock, who guided the Dallas Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999, and Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King will handle the benches.
"Team personnel get an up-close look at these 2011 draft prospects while we hope to provide them with a fun and informative two days," said Shanahan.
The Dallas Stars will hardly be recognizable next season. No Modano. No Turco. And now, no president Jeff Cogen. He's a marketing genius, but off to Nashville ahead of the culture change. No matter who the new owners are, they're buying a joint with bare cupboards. On the ice and in the front office.
James Neal, Jamie Benn, Brad Richards, Steve Ott, Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Scott Glennie, Jack Campbell...?
Bare defensive cupboards, perhaps, but for those who follow the sport "for realsies" (to borrow a phrase they might know) the cupboard is stocked just fine, thank you.
Meanwhile, on a site that knows what they're talking about, DallasStars.com offers some quotes from D Stephane Robidas:
"We weren’t good enough and I’m part of it," Robidas said bluntly. "I’ve played on every PK, and (the penalty killing struggles were) really disappointing for me, I take it really personally, because every time I go out there, I want to kill it. Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job as a team, and I take full responsibility for it, because I’ve been on it every game. I don’t know what it was."
And of course, being outside the post-season was most difficult of all to take for the 10-year veteran.
"It’s never fun," said Robidas, who elevated his game to impressive heights during the Stars’ run to the Western Conference Finals in 2008, when he notched three goals and 11 points in 18 playoff games, including the primary assist on Brenden Morrow’s series-clinching quadruple-overtime goal that won Game 6 of the Conference Semi-Finals over San Jose. "It’s pretty painful, because to me, that’s the best time of the year. That’s the time when everybody wants to play, and I think for us, it’s a wake-up call. Two years in a row - we’ve got to learn from those two seasons. Obviously, it’s very disappointing, but hopefully we’ve learned a lot this year and last year, and we’ve got to move on."
Knowing how hard he kills himself every year, and how little help he had, these comments are borderline hard to read. You can't help but feel bad for the guy. Here's hoping they get him some real help soon.
Razor has weighed in a little bit here and there over the summer. He has an amusing list of contracts the NHL should void NOT involving Kovalchuk...
3. Geico…talk about putting all your eggs in the wrong basket. Mike Green? Bruce Boudreau? The Washington Capitals? And no one named Ovechkin to be found? (Unless that was him playing "The Caveman" - sans make-up) The Caps played one round in the playoffs but the spots ran for all four. Woopsy. And besides, it featured some of the stiffest acting since…second thought, probably shouldn’t go there. Well, maybe just this; the soundtrack should have rhymed with "boom-chick-a-wow-wow". Got it?
Burn on you, Mr. Ovechkin.