Modano set to join Red Wings on Thursday

After a summer of speculation and eventually having his choices whittled down quickly to either the Detroit Red Wings or retirement, Mike Modano(notes) has decided to take his talents to the Motor City.

Modano sent a text to the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James on Monday saying "Big announcement Thursday," but the cat is already out of the bag: Red Wings general manager Ken Holland had offered Modano a one-year deal for $1.25 million to be the team's third-line center after both sides met last month in Detroit. Despite being 40, Modano was stubborn on retirement and the longer the process went, the more you realized he'd be playing at least one more year in the NHL.

George Malik from MLive's Snapshots likes the addition to Detroit's depth by bringing on Modano:

I cannot emphasize these two points enough: first and foremost, "back in the day," the biggest difference between the Red Wings and everybody else is that they had more depth and three dedicated scoring lines, not one or two, and Modano gives the Wings three very, very solid scoring lines...And the Wings started last season with fourteen forwards as well, so it's not unusual at all for Draper, Eaves, and Miller to be competing for one spot come October.

Matt Saler On the Wings is a little hesitant about bringing on Modano at the expense of a weaker third defensive pairing:

The expected number remains $1.25 million, which likely means an all-youth third pairing and an uncharacteristic emphasis on forward depth over defensive. I tend to think even the best gain from Modano isn't worth that weakening of the defense (or the possible developmental setback to Abdelkader yada yada), but...

With Modano's $1.25 million (assuming that's correct) on the books, that leaves about $2.5 million (by leaving out Ritola) to sign Abdelkader and Helm. Should be plenty. The only question is how long they'll sign for.

There's a Sportsnet report that says Detroit is one of the team's interested in former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell(notes). That could help spread the depth among their blueline should he sign on.

The Chief at Abel 2 Yzerman believes that Modano's addition is just another piece to the puzzle for the Red Wings to go for another Stanley Cup:

After a month of BS that started with this outright lie, "The sooner the better," Modano said of his decision. "I know they would love to get an answer so they can get their cap and their roster situated. I don't want to delay this," Willa finally made up her mind. Mike Modano's coming "home", after two decades of getting his ass absolutely handed to him by hockey's best franchise, he's apparently decided one more run at the Cup (and look out, it might be more...I'm just sayin') is in his best interests. Is it in the Wings'? All I know is this...Detroit proved after Baby Jesus kicked us in the sack last year with more injuries than any team in professional sports has ever suffered, ever, in history, dating back to like 1878 or something, that with all cylinders firing, no team in the league was or is as potent.

Finally, over at Dallas Stars blog Defending Big D, Modano's move to a rival will be tough to swallow:

Despite over a month of preparation for this likelihood and the knowledge that players do not share our disdain for certain franchises, this news is, to put it mildly, hard to swallow. Picturing Mike Modano in that insufferably red and white uniform may even be vomit inducing. We urge caution.

In a relatively short period of time we've learned that an enormous media corporation (News Corp.) may purchase our team, Marty Turco will be a Blackhawk next season, and Mike Modano will be a Red Wing. If your corporate office does not provide grief counseling for such an apocalyptic chain of events, I hope you'll utilize the comment section here for free treatment.

After being a North Star/Star his entire career, Modano now joins the Blackhawk Orr, Canuck Mark Messier and Maple Leaf/Bruin Brian Leetch in the long line of players who were identified by one franchise and moved to others at the end of their careers.

And in case you were wondering, Modano will make his first trip back to American Airlines Center in Dallas on Thursday, Oct. 14. Bring the hankies.

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