|Image hosted at Chase Art Gallery|
I like the IIHF link above because it highlights his "triple golds" - The Olympic gold (2006, Sweden), the IIHF World Championship (1998, Sweden) and the Stanley Cup (2004, Tampa Bay Lightning). Talk about a champion.
Modin has also been a terrific "character guy" as well, earning the Alternate Captain "A" in Columbus over the course of his time at Nationwide Arena. Freddy also is one of only 5 people ever to score a goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Stanley Cup playoff game. I was there, and it was downright inspiring to see the old warrior, probably still injured (he only played in 50 games in the 08-09 season), dig down deep and drop the tying goal in to make it 5-5 with the Red Wings at the end of the second period in the exhilarating Game Four of the Blue Jackets' only playoff appearance. Madness, I tell you...
Perhaps more interesting to the present-day Columbus Blue Jackets, however, is the fact that Modin plans to settle in - get this - Columbus. That's right, a Swede who also played in Toronto, Tampa, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Calgary has chosen to make his post-hockey home right here in Central Ohio.
That decision - for family reasons, I'll presume - speaks to me about what I consider Columbus' unexploited ace in the talent-recruiting hole: This town is FANTASTIC if you want to raise a family.
So why not capitalize on this fact and target the free agents who are married, maybe have kids, might be a little older (or more mature!) and want to sign that last contract before turning in their sticks and skates? Why not salt the roster with a few $1.3 million Michael Pecas or $800,000 Freddy Modins to provide some skill, emotional stability and locker room presence for a young team that has lost whatever sea legs it had in the NHL following the 2009 playoff appearance? Bring in a few of these types of players on short-term, low-end contracts. Let them finish their careers here. Let their kids go to school here. Let their families set down roots in town, just as other former CBJ players have done.
This could be the way to inject some of the "Phoenix philosophy" into the roster while letting the Blue Jackets' prospects have some time to mature and develop into bona fide NHL players. The marketing guys would love it, too - nothing like a few former "A list" types to put some rear ends in the seats.
Now that I think of it, perhaps the Blue Jackets HAVE been pursuing this strategy with the likes of Chris Clark and Ethan Moreau...just paying 2 to 3 times more than they should have for players of this breed.
Oh well, just a thought. Good luck to you, Freddy. Hope to see you around Nationwide...and perhaps at the grocery store or the zoo.