Hometown athletes are not always a great addition. Charles Rogers and Mateen Cleaves were less than spectacular in their post-college years. Derian Hatcher and Jeff Backus were/are just at or below expectations. On the other hand, Brian Rafalski was a solid addition to a Red Wings team in search for a solid defenseman. In other words, if you pick the hometown athlete, you may not get what you hope for. The Red Wings are hoping that Mike Modano makes the hometown crowds drive home happy.
Even though I am all for the Red Wings retooling to go younger, I believe that the addition of Modano will only benefit a Wings squad looking to go all the way next season. There’s no doubt in my mind that playing in Detroit will re-energize Modano’s career.
Dallas teams of late have left a lot to desire, and the recent change in management, made Modano’s decision easier. He should have been able to finish off his career in Dallas on his own terms, and now he’ll have 82-plus games to show the other teams in the league what they missed out on.
Another benefit of adding a player like Modano to the lineup will be seen in his third line mates. Jiri Hudler’s return to the team alongside Dan Cleary, creates a third line that will not be one to be overlooked. The Wings have benefited over their recent years of success due to the depth on the third and fourth line.
If Modano can reach roughly 50 points on the season (his average over his past three), then the Wings should expect success in 2010-11.