As you may or may not have heard, former Tampa Bay Lightning player Fredrik Modin, in his native Sweden, officially announced his retirement. Clearly, the constant injuries he has endured finally took their toll.
Modin, 36, was one of the great players for the Lightning from 1999-2006, compiling 116 goals and 229 points in 363 games, including a 32 goals in 2000-01 and 29 during the 2003-04 Stanley Cup season. He also had eight goals and 19 points in 23 playoff games on the way to Tampa Bay's Cup title.
But Modin, acquired by then-GM Rick Dudley from the Maple Leafs for defenseman Corey Cross and a seventh-round draft choice, never seemed to get the recognition he deserved from the media that covered the Lightning or the fans. Perhaps it was his quiet demeanor. Perhaps because he was overshadowed by linemates Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis and teammate Vinny Lecavalier. Whatever the reason, Modin never got his due here and could be the most underrated player the Lightning has seen.
"For us, he wasn't underrated," Lecavalier said. "He was a huge part of our team. He was a great leader and great for us."
He also seemed constantly hurt. Maybe not enough to keep him off the ice but enough so that after games he would be visibly limping or favoring an appendage. Even so, in only one season (2001-02) did Modin play fewer than76 games. His standard line when you asked him how he was feeling? "I'm good." And he'd say it with a smile like everyone was in on the joke.
"He fought through a lot of injuries," Lecavalier said. "He was a guy who always tried to play through it. It was definitely tough for him."
Modin was traded to the Blue Jackets in June 2006 for goaltender Marc Denis, and he still has a house in the Tampa Bay area.
Other stuff from the morning skate: Forward Dana Tyrell skated for the first time without the red no-contact jersey. Tyrell said he is cleared to play and will take warm-ups for Game 3 but said he did not believe he would play. But we'll see. Coach Guy Boucher said Tyrell is a game-time decision. ... Defenseman Randy Jones is averaging only 6:58 in the five playoff games he has played since returning from a high ankle sprain. And Jones didn't sugar coat that he still is feeling some discomfort. "Has it affected me? I don't think you have to be a rocket scientist to notice that," he said. But Jones also is not using the injury as an excuse. "If I'm good enough to be out there, then their are no restrictions or excuses." ... Defenseman Pavel Kubina did not skate Thursday. ... Boucher reiterated what the players said on Wednesday's conference call, that goalie Dwayne Roloson was not to blame for Tuesday's 6-5 loss and he was pulled only to try and give the team a spark. "I know he wanted to stay to battle, but he also understood changing something might change the outcome of the game, and it almost worked," Boucher said. "We certainly didn't lose confidence in Roloson. We left him alone on breakaways and two-on-ones and stuff. It was just about respecting him and seeing how we could turn that game around." ... On the Bruins side, the Patrice Bergeron watch continues. Coach Claude Julien said Bergeron likely will warm up, but would not say if he would play, though it sounded as if he doesn't play in Game 3, game 4 is almost guaranteed. ... Boston is 4-1 on the road in the playoffs. ... In an interesting exchange between the coaches, Boucher first complimented Boston rookie Tyler Seguin, saying, "I think everybody seriously underestimated his speed, and that's the main thing. His speed is obviously a weapon for him and for his team. And being a young guy, having success right away, certainly takes a lot of the nervousness away. We have to be able to keep on him." While Julien enjoyed the compliment, he said he understands what it was. "Well, Tampa has been very good of complimenting our team," he said. "They do a really good job of that. Tampa has got some pretty good speed themselves, St. Louis and those kind of guys, Stamkos. They've got the same kind of players. So, my answer to that would be I think they're pretty well-served on the other side. I don't think they're worried too much about Tyler more than they want to flatter him, and we know that there are mind games that teams play, and right now we're just focusing on what we have to do here. If anything, I would be more tempted to compliment my own players such as St. Louis and those guys that are just as good as Seguin when it comes to speed."