Modano the New Larionov?


From Ryan Dixon of THN

At this point in his career, Modano is to NHL teams what spandex is to fashion; definitely not for everybody, but a fantastic fit for a select few.

Interesting analogy, is it not?  It was preceded by talking about how Igor “The Professor” Larionov had two great seasons for Detroit after his 40th birthday.  Dixon goes on with some point projections for Modano based on the past:

Modano would slide into the Wings’ No. 3 center hole, where he would be expected to play an efficient two-way game while churning out modest offensive totals.

How does 43 points sound? That’s exactly what Larionov contributed to Detroit in each of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons while averaging about 14 minutes per game over that span.

(And if Modano played a full season in red, mark him down for 50 points, easy.)

50 points from a third line center?  Yes, please.  But what does that mean for guys like Abdelkader and Helm?  Abdelkader was slotted by Babcock for the 3rd line center…if Helm was the 4th line center and Modano moves in…where does that leave The Namesake?  Bringing in Modano means that one of these players would be out of a job (on the big club at least)…

  • Justin Abdelkader
  • Darren Helm
  • Patrick Eaves

Drew Miller might not have a spot on the Wings regardless, and I doubt that Kris Draper would be cast aside to the press box.  So if we sign Modano – does Abby Road go to fourth line center and Helm gets put on wing…meaning Eaves walks?  Or does Eaves stay and Helm gets sent back down to GR?  Or does Abdelkader get sent back down to Grand Rapids for another season and you keep the Little Red Corvette line together?

It gets complicated…but is Modano worth it?