Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The Doctor Is In

Congratulation to Mike Modano, who recently surpassed Joe Mullen for career goals by an American-born player. I'd also like to say sorry to Mike as well for the ranting that Dallas Stars' President Jim Lites did on his behalf. Mike Modano broke the record in Nashville, scoring his 503rd goal. The Predators did not stop the game to honour the accolade, and Stars' President Jim Lites took exception to this. Don't get me wrong: this is a huge distinction for Mike Modano, and will certainly get him into the Hall of Fame. Mike has been a great ambassador for hockey in the southern United States, and a contributor to USA Hockey for many years. Not unlike what Wayne Gretzky did in Los Angeles, Mike Modano has been the face of the Dallas Stars franchise since they arrived, and continues to help promote the game within the city of Dallas and the state of Texas.

Jim Lites, however, should keep his opinions to himself regarding what other teams do to honour a player from another team. I don't know if Jim Lites has a general hatred towards the Predators franchise, but judging from his comments made to the Dallas News below, I believe that Lites hates all things Predator.

Nashville Predators management did a disservice to the game of hockey Saturday night by not informing the crowd of Mike Modano's achievements, Stars president Jim Lites said Sunday.

And further, coach Barry Trotz's comments praising Jordin Tootoo for showing calm when punching Stephane Robidas was "patently ridiculous," according to Lites.

"Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff – I think they all failed the game," Lites said. "It's because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment ... it's just a horrible thing."

The fact Modano was approaching Joe Mullen's record for goals scored by an American-born player was not mentioned over the arena's public address system Saturday. Nothing was said when Modano tied Mullen at 502 goals nor when Modano broke the record at 503. Instead, the crowd booed Modano for his part in a skirmish that led to Tootoo being penalized and continued to boo him the rest of the night.

"I understand it's a competitive situation, but we're also working together to sell the game," Lites said. "They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I'm sick of it."

I'm all for honouring Modano's achievement. He's a great guy who has served his time in the NHL trenches, resulting in a great achievement. But there is no obligation for Nashville to stop the game, spray confetti, roll out the hors d'oeuvres, and have a party for Mike Modano. This is where Lites seems to miss the point. If it had happened in Dallas, have yourself a grand old time by all means. I don't see why Nashville has to celebrate what Modano has done. It's not like games anywhere else stopped to marvel in his achievement. As for Nashville "failing the game", I find it ironic that the Stars, who left a hockey hotbed in Minnesota, think that Nashville failed the game, yet they have not. Choose your words carefully, Lites. You sound like a pompous ass with no regard for the history of the game.

Oh, and by the way, the Stars did honour Modano when they returned home to face the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Stars honored Modano with a video during a television timeout in the first period Sunday at American Airlines Center. Modano received a standing ovation while red, white and blue confetti fell from the ceiling.

Phoenix center Jeremy Roenick, who is third behind Modano on the American-born goal-scoring list with 492, stood across from the Stars center in the faceoff circle and tapped Modano's pads while the crowd cheered.

If you asked Modano, I'm sure it doesn't bother him as much as it does Jim Lites. And for that, I am sorry for Mike Modano. It's his accolade. Jim Lites needs to keep his mouth shut in public, and send an email or make a phone call to the Predators. That's all.
A classy move by a classy organization in letting Chris Chelios have some time off to spend it with family. Chelios' kids are on spring break right now, and the Red Wings told him to take the next five days off to "rest before the playoffs" so he would be fresh. Honestly, call it what you want, but if Chelios can spend time with his kids and use the time to rest for the playoffs, the Red Wings will benefit.

You stay classy, Red Wings franchise.
Part Three of the patch examination will be posted by Friday. There are lots of patches worn by the teams. Look for it by Friday evening, although I hope to have it posted by Friday morning.
Todd Bertuzzi will most likely suit up against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. It will be interesting to see what line he plays on, and who plays alongside him. Knowing Mike Babcock, I assume that Big Bert will probably play between 15-17 minutes, and might see some time on the second powerplay unit in front of the net, much like Tomas Holmstrom.

The bigger question that remains is can Bertuzzi rediscover his old self like he was in Vancouver before the Steve Moore incident? I don't believe it will happen this year in the last ten games. If that's the case, Bertuzzi might find himself playing less in the playoffs than he'd like.
That's all for now. Remember: Patch It Up - Part Three by Friday. Keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Teebz. Liles should have kept his mouth shut. I live in Nashville and follow the Preds, but am a Red Wings fan. It doesn't matter whose ice Modano was when he because the record holder. The fact is, it wasn't HOME ice. No team should feel obligated to celebrate any player's milestone if that player doesn't play for them. I can't imagine the Stars celebrating a milestone of a player not on their team on their home ice.

As for Tootoo's slugging of Robidas...the 5 game suspension is alright. I saw the video and it appears that he saw an opposing player heading his way and just swung. He landed a lucky punch and that hurt another player. That aside, it's the act of blindly throwing a punch without provocation that disturbs me. Yes, Robidas was rushing in, but he had his hands and stick down. There is no reason for Tootoo to have done what he did.