The Case of the Missing Mike Modano

The Detroit Red Wings, after sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round, are now one game away from a potential sweep at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. Déjà vu perhaps? A trending storyline though is the absence of Mike Modano from the Detroit roster. As a home town fan, I wonder why he is not playing.

Mike Modano signed with the Detroit Red Wings this year in attempt to not only avoid retirement, but to win the one and only, Lord Stanley’s Cup. Modano’s season though was cut short (no pun intended) due to a freak injury; his wrist cut accidently by the skate of Columbus forward R.J. Umberger.

Modano only saw 40 games throughout the season due to the injury, leaving him little time to mesh with the Detroit style of play. Already a competitive roster with Jiri Hudler, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller and veteran Kris Draper competing for ice time, Modano never really received a chance.

Since returning to the roster from the injury, Modano played 20 games until the end of the season. In those games Modano contributed for 2 goals and 5 assists. To the untrained eye, you would think this is a low production for such a talented player. Modano averaged roughly around 11 minutes a game, not enough to really get the motor going. Still though, Modano was utilized on the power play, and to his talents, 4 of the 7 points since returning were all on the power play.

So the question still arises why isn’t Mike Modano playing in the playoffs? This is an answer only Head Coach Mike Babcock knows unfortunately. Modano did see one game in the first round against Phoenix, and yes, Modano reached the scoreboard with an assist on the first goal of the game. His ice time was second to lowest, barely edging out Drew Miller in the game, which in comparison only has 3 more points in 26 additional games.

Game 4 is tonight at 7:00 PM in Detroit at the Joe Louis arena and to be aired on Versus & TSN. It is still unknown if Modano will be playing, and even further down the road, if he will be returning next year to the Red Wings, any other team, or perhaps retiring. It is unfortunate Modano has not been given a chance to prove his worth this season and in the playoffs. Currently holding the record for most goals and points by an American born player, and having 175 playoff games under his belt, Modano surely would be an asset to a back-against-the-wall Detroit Red Wings.

Just my .02. Bench Jiri Hudler who left the Wings to go play oversees and has done nothing this series, let alone his lack of effort in the corners, and put Modano in to man the 3 for 12 (25.0%) power play this series.


  1. Great article. I was just on the phone with my buddy who played in Livonia forever, and we both said…play madano tonight a lot and u will win for sure

    • Yep, Modano has his arena in Westland, right near Livonia.

      Still could use Modano, especially with Franzen hurt and not able to skate as well and Hudler still being weak in the corners. He cost a goal tonight by not covering the point.

      It will be interesting to see if anything changes for the next game.

      Thanks for your post Jim.

  2. Here is a suggestion for Mr. Blockhead Babcock: Before the game sit down the whole team and MAKE them watch old films of Ted Lindsay, Maurice & Henry Richard, Paul Woods, Vladimir Kostantinov, and a few others who played with fire in their belly ALL the time. And GET RID OF MILLER AND HUDLER, PERMANENTLY!!! And while Coach Babcock is at it, have some LONG talks with Scotty Bulman about ANYTHING pertaining to hockey coaching. Lawdy, Lawdy, Miss Claudy!!

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