This year, like most years, the Red Wings have plenty of experience. Others wonder if the team is too old to go deep into the playoffs without getting worn out. As the season began this week, Detroit had the oldest roster in the NHL with an average age of 31, the only team above 30.
Longtime Dallas star Mike Modano thinks he has some more hockey to play, too. The 40-year-old Modano decided he wanted to stick with his day job instead of retiring after the Stars decided he was no longer wanted. Minnesota and San Jose also gave Modano a chance to continue his career with them, but he chose to come back home.
The Livonia, Mich., native has the most points (1,359) by an NHL player born in the United States, but is coming off his lowest-scoring season since 1995. He had 14 goals and 30 points in 59 games, fading to being a fourth-line center.
“A little nervousness,” Modano acknowledged. “Excited to get started.”
Detroit didn’t make a big splash in free agency, instead addressing some needs by signing Modano, getting Hudler back after one season in Russia and adding defenseman Ruslan Salei. Tomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi were brought back to bolster the front line.
The Red Wings, who open the season Friday night at home against Anaheim, found out just how tough it is to earn victories last year. They hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2008 and came within a win of repeating, then lost players _ such as Marian Hossa and Mikael Samuelsson _ who combined to score 88 goals.
Detroit was counting on young players to play complimentary roles, but they weren’t quite ready to do more when Johan Franzen, Cleary, Nicklas Kronwall and Holmstrom were among the many banged-up skaters on the injured list.
The Red Wings, though, didn’t fall apart and ended up winning a series as the fifth seed in the playoffs.
Adding players _ while the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks were one of the teams that saw many stars leave _ has given Detroit confidence.View Entire Story
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