This week's topic: Which deal is better?
Which deal will work out better: Mike Modano versus Marty Turco?
The obvious answer is Turco. Chicago turfed its Cup-winning keeper and needed to sign a reliable backstopper. Turco is not the guy he was five years ago, but Blackhawks are still stacked and should advance far in the playoffs again. Modano has lost a step the last few years, and is approaching Chelios territory.
I agree it is obvious - obvious that the Modano deal will be the better of the two. Modano is a truly class act, a stylish, successful superstar who will bring character and work ethic to a Red Wings team. Yes, he may be past his best-before date, but I predict he and the Wings will shine as he returns to play in front of family and friends near his home town. Turco's best days are also behind him, too, but he will have a harder time fitting into the defending champs' lineup as they struggle to remain cohesive in the wake of their off-season moves.
I also like the Modano deal. Mike Babcock said he wants to place Modano on the third line with Jiri Hudler (underrated and highly skilled) and Dan Cleary (34 points in 64 games last season). I think this adds up to one of the best third lines in the league. The deal is low risk, at just over $1.2M, and has great upside. I am looking forward to seeing what Babcock will do to Modano’s game in Motown. Talk about the perfect restoration project.
Modano's role with Detroit will be different than it was in his younger days in Dallas - he'll be a checker and a powerplay specialist, and Detroit got a good price for a guy who still has a nose for the net. If I had to choose one or the other in a hockey pool, I'd pick Turco. Turco will get more wins with the Blackhawks than Modano will get goals in Detroit, given that Cristobal Huet and his contract aren't really welcome in Chicago anymore. Modano's playing out the string, but Detroit has had success with retreads in the past, like Chelios and Todd Bertuzzi.
True, Turco might be the better pool pick but goalies on decent teams usually are. Third line or not, I'm expecting an invigorated Modano will spark a renewal of the Red Wings.
No question Modano will bring class, presence, all those intangibles. But we all know it is his retirement/homecoming tour and will only serve to help him ride gracefully into the sunset as best ever American hockey forward. Turco is only 35 years old (when the season starts) and will provide more of an impact for a great team.
The Modano signing must be exciting for Wings fans. For some reason I doubt Hawks fans are as pumped up over Marty Turco.
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