He’s home! He’s finally home! And all it took was a month of waiting, even though Head Coach Mike Babcock told us Mo was coming to Detroit way back in July. While some will point to Modano’s diminishing numbers and age as deterrents, there is no question that the highest scoring American player of all time can provide the Wings with enough punch to help them get over a disappointing finish to last year’s season. Here’s how the Modano signing affects the Red Wings:
Here is what the rumored line combinations are going to be heading into training camp (as alluded to by Mike Babcock earlier in the summer)
With the addition of Modano, the Wings appear to have 3 scoring lines that can do damage. If they stay healthy (which was a problem last season), the Wings will boast arguably the best offensive lineup in the Western Conference and would be comparable to that of both Washington and New Jersey out East. Modano’s ability to play both in the middle and on the wing will add to the flexibility that Head Coach Mike Babcock already has with this lineup.
With the first unit most likely featuring the Wings top line plus Lidstrom and Rafalski, the 2nd unit is where the competition appears to be at its highest. Assuming that Johan Franzen, Jiri Hudler, and Nick Kronwall are all locks to be on the 2nd unit (with Kronwall acting as the Quarterback) that leaves Bertuzzi, Filppula, Cleary, and Modano to battle it out for the last 2 spots. Modano had 10 power play points last season in Dallas and is no stranger to playing the point. Given that the Red Wings will not be bringing back Jason Williams and have shown a propensity to use a forward on the point on the 2nd unit, one could infer that Detroit’s new hired gun could find himself with the inside track to getting on the 2nd PP unit. Modano’s 156 career powerplay goals may also given him a leg up on the competition.
Yes I know this is a buzz word, but I felt it was necessary. Modano has a lot going for him this season. For starters, he is playing in his hometown. I don’t care how old you are (and for the record, his 14 goals in 59 games last season are more than respectable), playing at home is automatic boost. Second, after being told that the team he played his whole career for was not interested in bringing him back, Mo may feel the need to prove the Stars organization wrong. Lastly, the 2010/11 Red Wings may be the most talented team he’s been on in quite some time. Regardless of where he plays in the lineup, Modano will be surrounded by elite talent. He has enough factors going for him which leads me to believe that Mikey Mo will be among the most underrated free agent signings of the off season (probably a bold statement, but if he fails miserably I’m hoping none of you remember this column).
To end off, we’d like to serenade the Wings newest singing with the help of our good friend, Michael Buble
Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Detroit and Livornia
But I wanna go home
Modano’s come home.