Thrashers rumored to have signed veteran forward Fredrik Modin

There’s a report coming from Sweden that the Thrashers have signed veteran forward Fredrik Modin to a one-year contract. I’ve yet to see any official confirmation of the signing, however Dan Kamal tweets and TSN reports that the deal has indeed gone down. Regardless, it wouldn’t surprise me that the rumors are true, given the fact that the 6’-4”, 223 lb forward has past ties with both Craig Ramsay and Rick Dudley. All three were a part of the 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning team.

Modin will be 36 years old on October 8 and is currently a UFA coming off a three-year $9.75 million contract which brought with it a $3.25 mil cap hit. Last season he split time between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings, netting a total of 5 goals and 6 assists during 44 total games. He was a –6 in 24 games with Columbus and a –2 in 20 games in LA. Last spring he played in 6 playoff games with the Kings during their round one loss to Vancouver, scoring 3 goals and 1 assist while finishing a –3.

Fredrik Modin played in only 44 games last season with the Colubus blue Jackets and LA Kings. There are rumors that the Thrashers have signed him to a contract (AP Photo)

Fredrik Modin played in only 44 games last season with the Colubus blue Jackets and LA Kings. There are rumors that the Thrashers have signed him to a contract (AP Photo)

For most of Modin’s career, he’s been looked upon as a 20+ goal scorer. In 2000-01 he scored 32 goals and 24 assists, in 2003-04 he had 28 goals and 29 assists and the following season he netted 31 goals and 23 assists. However after leaving Tampa and heading to Columbus, injuries have limited his play for the past three seasons. In 2007-08 he played in just 23 games, 50 the season after that and only 44 last year.

In 858 career NHL games he has 225 goals, 227 assists, 439 PIM and is a +3. He’s appeared in 57 playoff games where he’s scored 14 times and chipped in with 12 assists. In 2004, he scored 8 goals and 11 assists during 23 playoff matches to help earn him a sip from the Stanley Cup.

So now, the big question is…why would Dudley bring in a player who will turn 36 on opening night? Especially after saying he wants prospects like Patrice Cormier, Spencer Machacek and Alex Burmistrov to have every opportunity to earn roster spots during training camp.

Well, I have a possible suggestion…insurance.

First off, Modin could add a little more veteran presence to this lineup. Yes, it’s good to have a good amount of healthy, hungry youngsters on the team, but the stability that comes with a number of “been there, done that, got my name on the Cup” types doesn’t hurt either. Possibly he, along with Patrick Rissmiller, could be on the roster filling the roles of healthy scratches in the press box while providing the occasional spot start.

But if one or two of the young-uns are not able to prove themselves ready in preseason or are not able to handle playing everyday at the NHL level this fall, Dudley and Ramsay need a player like Modin to fall back on…giving a young player a short break to regain his stride.

Another possible reason to bring in Modin in the mane of insurance is that Dudley and Co. are very concerned about the contract impasse that the Thrashers find themselves at with Nic Bergfors. If they are not able to come to terms with the RFA and he chooses to hold out, or the Thrashers feel the need to trade away his rights, then Dudley needs a left wing to fill Bergie’s vacancy on one of the top two lines.

Maybe Modin takes that top-six spot, or maybe Andrew Ladd does and Modin plays on the third line.

Are there drawbacks to bringing in Modin? Sure…

His age and recent health issues are certainly a cause for concern. If they are looking to have a backup plan in case Bergfors in unavailable at the beginning of the season, there is a 13-year gap between those two players.

Of course, there is also the financial part of the equation too. I highly doubt the organization is offering up anything close to the $3.5 million Modin made last season. But a 1-year deal at or around a mil wouldn’t be out of the question for such an insurance policy. Certainly the Thrashers have the room under the cap for it, but anything more would be too much in my opinion.

Regardless… as is the case with any type of insurance… people tend to go with those they know and trust. And I don’t think it’s too much a stretch to think this would be the reason why Dudley and Ramsay might opt to bring in Fredrik Modin for just such a purpose.

219 comments Add your comment

Brendan

September 6th, 2010
9:40 pm

Sorry, that was a typo. Rawhide, you’re in at $47.25 million, not $46.25 million.

Rawhide

September 6th, 2010
9:42 pm

Thanks, Professor.

BTW everyone, I’ll be on assignment tomorrow at the Duluth Ice Forum. Look for a new blog post midweek-ish.

GaVaHokie

September 6th, 2010
9:51 pm

Brendan… The trick is also taking advantage of those entry contracts of Heatley and Kovy by surrounding them with proven players. Much like Pittsburg did with Crosby and Malkin.

This team could have made some noise back in 2002, but they kept it cheap and paraded Heatley and Kovy out like the dog and pony show.

Brendan

September 6th, 2010
10:13 pm

Rawhide, enjoy your assignment in Gwinnett County. Be nice to the Gwinnetians. They say that “Gwinnett is Great, and that success lives there.”

WBF, I think people reacted so badly to the “depth signing” because we’re so close to the start of the season, and really, prior blogs talked about 3 possible vacancies left on the Thrashers roster. So, needless to say, people saw this signing and thought, “What?” We’ve been waiting for a replacement, if it’s possible, for Kovalchuk or Afinogenov. Plus, the fans of this franchise have long memories, of Dafoes, Rucchins, Krupps, Hurmes, etc. That is to say, players who were on the decline, at a more advanced age, at a diminished salary. And they thought, “What?, again!!” You have to excuse the reaction, when factoring the totality of circumstance. Normally, I’d agree … “What’s the problem with a depth signing?” Truthfully, we don’t know if this is a two-way contract, or what the terms are. Unless they were just announced. And my apologies, if they were. I think people would be much happier if the Modin situation were that of a “professional tryout,” with no contract signed.

Brendan

September 6th, 2010
10:24 pm

Hokie, re: 9:51PM post, that’s very true. This franchise did trot out Heatley and Kovalchuk as their 2-act show, instead of spending some money, and showing the league that the Atlanta Thrashers mean business, moving forward. You’re right. They didn’t put even six top forwards into the lineup. Instead of adding every year, they seemed to lose and replace. Or, said another way, they were practicing zero sum economics. And, of course, they let some pieces go that never should have left. Like Staios, Brunette, Audette, maybe even Shean Donovan and Jeff Cowan. I hoped Brian Pothier might have a future here. But truthfully, had we kept him, we might not have developed him properly enough, the way the Senators did. It’s always so easy to second guess a franchise or GM. But to turn a blind eye to its missteps only leads to repeating the same mistakes. Ya know, I’ve always thought that making mistakes was “okay and necessary,” so long as you learn from them. I don’t know ANYONE who gets it all right, right from the start. You gain knowledge by your failed trials. What is important … is to learn from them. I do not think, not really, that the AS,LLC sets out with intent to fail. But neither do I think, for a split second, that they have their eyes on the prize called the Stanley Cup. And really, as a fan of the team, all I have EVER, EVER asked … is for an HONEST ATTEMPT to win it. We haven’t seen that, since 2005-06. Maybe 2006-07.

World Be Free

September 7th, 2010
5:38 am

Brendan, most of us have been through this ordeal together over the past 10 seasons. I understand how some people feel about the signing, but we also need to put things in perspective too. We are not going to sign another impact player at this stage, nor are the Thrashers going to spend above $50M. The core of players for the upcoming season are pretty well set. This club has made improvements in the off season, without having given up a core players.

kracker

September 7th, 2010
8:16 am

Rawhide, what is your assignment at DIF?

Because there is no mention of an AHL salary, I assume Modin’s contract is one-way at $800K, plus bonuses. Here’s to hoping Modin earns both his salary and the bonuses.

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
8:36 am

Brendan… In 2001-2002, when Heatley and Kovy were battling it out for the Calder Trophy, the team payroll was $15 million… lowest in franchise history…disgusting.

Is that Waddell’s fault? He probably would have loved to fill out a $40-$50 million roster around those guys.

Cliff Fletcher

September 7th, 2010
8:41 am

Hokie-
Great point, and who owned the team back in 2001-2002? Not the current group, I believe. Clearly NOT waddell’s fault.

rob

September 7th, 2010
8:58 am

This season isn’t gonna be about chasing the Cup, I think we can all agree on that. What it seems to be about is getting back to a hard nosed way of playing hockey. Honest effort from the players we have. If we get that, I think we can make the playoffs this year. However, that being said, if we come out and play hockey, and don’t lay down and let teams walk all over us, but miss the playoffs….I can deal with that. But I think the future of this team dictates at least 2 playoff wins either this season or next. And if we make it to the playoffs, who is to say what happens there. Everyone here knows it’s a new season then, and anything can, and often does, happen. So I will continue to hope the team as assembled, will find a way to come together and play inspired hockey, and the coaches will give our young guys the guidance they need to succeed and become solid players here. Will I agree with everything they do? No way. But I will support the team (and by team I mean the players), regardless. Camp can’t start soon enough so we can get a better idea of what will shake out and how the team will take shape.

World Be Free

September 7th, 2010
9:51 am

rob-well stated. I want Dudley hockey, the kind of hockey he played throughout his career; a good effort every night. There is a greater chance of good things happening if this team plays hard together.

Jack

September 7th, 2010
10:20 am

Its going to be interesting if we participate in the Devils trade talks.

kracker

September 7th, 2010
10:31 am

tweet – ajcthrashers Told by Thrashers GM Rick Dudley that negotiations continue with RFA Niclas Bergfors but “nothing pending.”

Hope this gets done before camp. If it gets done.

Brendan

September 7th, 2010
10:37 am

For sure, Hokie, the ownership at that time wasn’t spending any money. And the GM can’t sign players without any money. I think reasonable people can see that. It all starts from the top. And the top is ownership. But, let’s not forget something important. It’s ownership’s burden to enforce accountability. In 2001-02, the goal was … to suck out loud, and get back into the lottery draft. Mission accomplished. Atlanta got the 2nd overall pick in June of 2002. That’s a power position in ANY draft class year. Sage of Bluesland loves to rag on Waddell that he picked Kari with that “critical pick in the evolution of the franchise.” And certainly, I agree with Sage’s assertions of taking either Bouwmeester or Nash with that pick, depending on who Florida/Columbus took with the top pick. However, I have said, in the past, that if it ever came to light that Waddell ASKED FOR Curtis Joseph off waivers, under contract with the Detroit Red Wings at $8 million-per-season, with 2 years remaining, or later on Hasek, or Khabibulin, or Belfour, Kiprussoff, Nabakov, or Irbe, and ownership declined the request, stating words to the effect of, “Don, you want a goalie?? Go draft one,” then I absolve Waddell of that action. Is that what really happened??? I have no idea. I doubt it, but I honestly have no idea. If I had to pick a goalie in 2002, sure … I would have selected Lehtonen. Why? “Consensus” top pick in his goalie class of 2002. But conceptually, I am opposed to taking a goaltender inside of the lottery draft. They take too long to develop. Plus, every offseason, goalies are available out on the free agent market. You get what you pay for. And yes, you pay more. But you PAY MORE precisely because you are NOT enduring the 5 years it takes to properly develop a goalie. I am sorry, genuinely, for the working conditions Don Waddell has endured with this franchise. Hardly ideal. But still, someone has to answer for wins and losses, and team design, and overall strategy/philosophy of how the team is run. Ownership’s dictionary doesn’t contain the word accountability.

Smoothie

September 7th, 2010
10:41 am

Can anyone confirm that Modin doesn’t earn squat unless he makes the team? In other words, is his contract contingent upon being on the final roster before Opening Night? Or do we have to waive him and hope someone claims him so we don’t have to pay him?

I’m thinking he’s only paid if he makes the team. A lot of you are gnashing teeth it seems over what seems to be a fait accomplit, but I don’t think it is. I do believe Modin must survive camp, but I’m not really sure. Anyone?

ChippersLoveChild

September 7th, 2010
10:53 am

Oooh I want to play this contest… Budget at 49.3 million… Point total at 83, 4th in SE, 13th in the East..

R. Stroztradamus

September 7th, 2010
11:00 am

I predict the Thrasher’s payroll will be closer to the cap floor than the cap ceiling.

World Be Free

September 7th, 2010
11:03 am

Not sure but this does look like a contract that is similar to MAx’s from last season. All I know is Modin is better than some of the worthless wonders we have trotted out in past seasons.

glovesave29

September 7th, 2010
11:03 am

92 points – 3rd in division – 9th in the conference

We will get eliminated on the last day of the season. Certainly moving in right direction.

Looking back over the comments from yesterday – I get a laugh, as Sage is the only person I know who’s hindsight is NOT 20/20.

Baaaa baaaa baaaaa baaaaa – someone PLEASE go check the battery and alternator on the long idle Zamboni and let’s get this season STARTED!

kracker

September 7th, 2010
11:09 am

Smoothie, my guess is that if Modin was in camp on a try out contract basis, C Viv would have made that clear. If not in his blog, then in the article printed in today’s hard copy version. Both articles seem clear that Modin has been signed for $800K.

I think if Modin was on a try out, then he would be advertised as coming to camp on that basis the same as Max was last season.

Smoothie

September 7th, 2010
11:17 am

kracker – thanks but I’m wondering if the contract is “guaranteed” or if it starts at September 3rd / 4th and runs to 9/3/11 even if he goes to camp, plays lousy and gets cut. Max didn’t have a contract going in, this I understand, but I’m wondering if the ASG is on the hook even if he gets cut before Opening Night. In other words, will we have to waive him and risk paying him for absolutely nothing? I just don’t see him agreeing to a demotion to the AHL. He’d probably bolt to the KHL as there is no transfer agreement govering such a decision.

Jack

September 7th, 2010
11:27 am

7th in conference 2nd in SE. Not sure the methodology of predicting thme last or 3rd for that matter.

kracker

September 7th, 2010
11:30 am

Yeah, I don’t know. I saw your tweet to C Viv. Hopefully he will clarify. Either way, I figure Modin will be humping it during camp to try to nail down a line spot.

R. Stroztradamus

September 7th, 2010
11:38 am

I predict the Thrashers will have somewhere between 60 and 120 points.

Yes Brendan, it’s the “Magic Power” that drives my profound abilities.

Jack

September 7th, 2010
11:43 am

LOL I am also predicting that they will win between 2 and 84 games. :)

kracker

September 7th, 2010
11:46 am

Ben tweets that Stewart Cink was named to the American Ryder Cup team.

Paminski

September 7th, 2010
11:49 am

Thanks for keeping track of our predictions, Brendan. Please enter my guess as 91 points, 8th in the East, 2nd in the Southeast.

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
11:52 am

Brendan… You’re also assuming that Waddell and scouting weren’t already looking at the depth in the 2003 draft… If they hadn’t taken Lehtonen, the only franchise goalie available in next years 2003 draft was Marc Andre Fleury (who obviously went first).

Lehtonen was a phenom coming into the draft. A guy considered ahead of the curve. Defensemen take just as long to develop as goalies, but are a dime a dozen in any draft year… and besides, Jay Bouwmeester sucks!

I still don’t understand people saying Atlanta should have drafted Rick Nash… how exactly was that supposed to happen?

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/draft02/trades.htm

glovesave29

September 7th, 2010
11:54 am

In the spirit of the all knowing Stroztadamus – I make the bold prediction that there will never be an undefeated team in the NHL…unless the league whittles the schedule down to just one game. Then I predict half the teams in the league will go undefeated.

Viking

September 7th, 2010
11:54 am

There must be something Dudley & Co see in Modin – likely the same as Bengt-åke Gustafsson (formerly Capitals player and coach for the 2010 Swedish Olympic Team) saw in him. To Swedes, it was a big surprise that Modin kept a player like Michael Samuelsson (and others) out of the Olympic line-up.

As long as he is cheap, I hope whatever it is they see in him is worth keeping a young guy from NHL play in a Thrasher uniform.

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
11:57 am

Oh, I get the conspiracy now… you don’t think Florida would have traded the #1 pick if Atlanta wouldn’t have “promised” not to take Bouwmeester.

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
11:59 am

Pfft… who had Atlanta at #28 in the Power Rankings… no love!

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=332979

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
12:06 pm

Sorry, I meant #26.

ChippersLoveChild

September 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

Damn I had 27… one off..

Jack

September 7th, 2010
12:15 pm

Thats a serious bad joke for our”Canadian friends” at TSN.

Smoothie

September 7th, 2010
12:20 pm

Hopefully after a surprising season this year where we challenge for the # 8 seed or perhaps even make the playoffs, we will be able to lure in a UFA who says somethng like this:

“You don’t want to go to a team that’s already accomplished,” Dunta Robinson said. “You want to build something. That way you feel like you helped instead of jumping on the bandwagon like some guys do. I definitely feel that I can help this team get to where they are trying to go.”

In free agency, Robinson ordered his agent to negotiate solely with the Falcons. He wanted to be on a team he thought was on the rise in the NFL. — from D. Orlando Ledbetter’s blog

Will an NHL player with cache ever say that about the ATL Thrashers?

Alan R.

September 7th, 2010
12:20 pm

Indeed, WBF, Modin does add a bit of depth. Have we ever seen an Atlanta team with this much depth before? If we have, I can’t remember it.

To me, Modin serves two purposes. First, he adds a bit of competition during camp. Having players like Modin present will force the kids to work that much harder to make the team. The spirit of competition brings out the very best in everyone.

Number two, assuming Modin makes the team, he would be a good trailing forward. Someone who can sneak into the slot late and pound one home. I’ve seen some of what Modin can do. He might not be the fabulous superstar everyone wants to see since Kovalchuk departed, but I think he will do fine here.

I was against the Afinogenov signing last year, for the very same reason some are against the Modin signing today: Injury history. Modin is older than Afinogenov, sure; however, let’s also consider that we haven’t even seen the players play a pre-season game yet, much less a scrimmage game.

Relax, naysayers. Chill out. At best, he has a good year and puts up a moderate number of points. At worst, he sits in the press box with injuries that befuddle even the greatest physicians while someone like Machacek takes over for him.

Zombie Steve

September 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

Cheechoo invited to the tryouts eh?? Wouldn’t it be great if this guy beat his demons, we got him on the cheap, and he busts out a 40+ goal season for us?

Zombie Steve

September 7th, 2010
12:28 pm

Anyone else stoked about NHL 11 coming out today?!

Smoothie

September 7th, 2010
12:29 pm

Alan – well said sir. And yes, if Modin doesn’t work out, we still have Machacek, Pettersson and even Rismiller (shudders) waiting in the wings. No pun intended.

I still would not be surprised if Dudley makes another trade. That’s what he does, for better or for worse. And remember everyone, Dave Andreychuk was 38 when Tampa won the Cup. Of course, he wasn’t injury-plagued like Mr. Modin.

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
12:34 pm

Zombie… Cheechoo was invited by Dallas, not Atlanta.

GaVaHokie

September 7th, 2010
12:43 pm

Funny… if you read the comment chain under the Power Ranking article, the Canadian fans are in a real tizzy. Anything saying the Leafs are worse than Atlanta has thumbs down.

Everyone get over there and fight back with your thumbs. :)

kracker

September 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

I see TSN has not rated the Laffs yet.

I don’t think these are credible power rankings. I see them more as “Let’s get Canadia[e]ns fired up so TSN gets more web traffic” rankings. Not that I really blame them from a capitalist point of view. TSN will net far more hits from their Canadian base than from several thousand hockey fanatics in Atlanta and the SE USA.

If the Thrashers’ play this season warrants it, the folks at TSN can clean it up with the occasional ’serious’ hockey analysis article that gives credit where credit is due. Much the same as our brethren at the NYTimes operate, just to name one political rag, with the occasional somewhat fair and balanced op-ed piece.

CA Thrashers Fan

September 7th, 2010
12:56 pm

This is a solid, no-risk depth move. That it has generated so much negative response is absolutely baffling to me. Modin played very solid hockey for the Kings down the stretch, was one of their most effective 2-3 forwards in the playoffs, and his leadership in the locker room elicited praise from both coach Terry Murray and GM Dean Lombardi. That he was not re-signed by the Kings for this low a contract has come as a huge surprise to Kings fans.

Fact is, Ramsey and the Thrashers have a ton of depth and plenty of options this year, which is a characteristic of successful franchises. One can lament about the myriad of third liners, but bottom 6 types are every bit as much (if not more) important to successful playoff runs as any top skill guys. At best, Modin can slot into a second or third line role, be a presence on the power play, and put up 20 goals. At worst, he has cost practically nothing. At the least, he will force some of the youngsters to EARN their way onto the team, rather than being handed a spot, and will provide leadership along the way.

Come on Thrashers fans, enough of the doom and gloom. Dudley is putting his mark on this team, and while some may not like it, for a fan base that has said for years that there needs to be changes and different directions, we are actually finally moving in one. Great character guy, great signing…one can never have too many Cup rings on a roster.

Zoomo

September 7th, 2010
12:58 pm

It will be interesting to see some of the PP combinations that get worked on in camp. I wonder if they’ll deploy Modin, Buff and Antro in various combos in front of the crease?

While we don’t have a lot of pure scorers to throw on the PP, we sure have a lot of beef. Could make for an interesting dynamic – Bogo, Toby, and Pevs firing at the net with Buff and Modin in the crease in full screen, tip in, and put back mode. Perhaps?

Sage of Bluesland

September 7th, 2010
1:06 pm

GaVasheep finally gets the 2002 draft…He’s pretty quick, too.

For the nth time, Florida coveted Bouwmeester and would not budge from the top pick unless we gave them our assurance we would not take him with the 2nd pick. Thus, Florida makes the trade with Columbus (who was at 3rd). Thus, as has been blustered before, we “get the player we wanted all along” in the glass-groined wunderkind who was years away from contributing to the team…

All it was was a much-needed play for time….time that bumbling Donny desperately needed, as his “legends of Blueland” were a figment in the collective sheeps’ imagination…See, to make it simpler for you concrete-heads: THE DRAFTING WASN’T PRODUCING…THE DRAFTING WASN’T PRODUCING…THE DRAFTING WASN’T PRODUCING (from 1999 to 2002)….

Instead, we get treated to the sheep and their proclamations (as taken from the organization’s braintrust): Just you WAIT until this kid makes it to the parent club! He’s the REAL thing!

Uh-huh. Then we heard of GaVasheep and Ranallolamb’s “incremental progress” excuse, year after excruciating year.

Welcome to FINALLY understanding the 2002 draft, GaVa and how we completely flubbed it up…I called it then and was absolutely correct. I also took a lot of flack from the “geniuses” around here, too, as I think about it….I wanted budding offensive superstars to anchor three lines–and Nash would have looked wonderful in a Thrashers uniform.

It would have lessened the loss of Heatley, that’s for sure.

(Oh well, most of them are too embarrassed to show themselves here these days…Nothing new–just have to educate a new wave of lambchops…)

Oh, and it must hurt to truly know that I–even I–could not have done much worse than your hero during the past decade…I could have, after all, won just as many playoff games as he has…

So funny, our resident “genius” finally gets the 2002 draft…Like I said earlier, real quick there…

kracker

September 7th, 2010
1:06 pm

Nice analysis, CA Thrashers Fan. I particularly liked you saying “Fact is, Ramsey and the Thrashers have a ton of depth and plenty of options this year, which is a characteristic of successful franchises.” It seems to me this is where a talented coaching staff will excel by choosing and implementing the correct options (ie. player and line/pairing combinations) at various phases of the game that is being played on a given night.

Sage of Bluesland

September 7th, 2010
1:09 pm

Looking forward to the next sheep stating, ignorantly, that “there was no way we could have drafted Rick Nash in 2002…he went first to Columbus!”….

For the n-th time…

kracker

September 7th, 2010
1:10 pm

Zoomo mentioned something that I have been wondering about. Would Modin be sucessful fronting the goalie? Has he played at the crease before?

CA Thrashers Fan

September 7th, 2010
1:22 pm

kracker, he has the size to front, and is capable of it, but that’s not really his game. He’s closer to a Franzen than a Holmstrom type, good hands, great shot, uses his size well, but probably a bit wasted when being clobbered in front of the goalie. I could see him as the secondary screen/rebound guy as well as being the slot/far-side shooter on the PP.