Red Wings sign Willa Ford, Some Old Guy To Tag Along

Armband tattoos are cheesy. UNLESS THEY’RE MUSICAL IN NATURE!

Well, the summer soap opera looks to have come to an end, as Mike Modano has finally decided to take the Wings up on their one-year contract offer to center the third line between Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary. Or so Drunk Freep says.

Finally, an Italian worth rooting for on the Red Wings.

The real story here, however, is the opportunity for fans to spend the next ten months reaaaaaaally hoping for an Emma Andersson/Willa Ford Jell-O wrestling match to settle inter-locker room disagreements (office politics, you know how it goes…)

Anyone know the Swedish for “Imma end you, Southern biatch.” ?

You all know my thoughts: I’ve been Prodano from the beginning of the “maybe” phase. I’m super-psyched that we’ve got a legit scoring threat of a third line. Sure, it was getting old playing the waiting game — I hated that he backed off on his “Red Wings or retirement” stance when the Wild, Sharks, and Ducks came a-knocking. But he’s a Red Wing now, so get ready, everyone. Time for the nitty gritty.

If the rumors are semi-accurate, the deal is for $1.25M (which would make him the tenth highest paid forward for optimists, third lowest [for now] for the pessimists). By my math, the Wings will have about $2,524,622 to sign Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, another defenseman, and leave a gap in case of injuries. But, like we’ve said a million times but no one seems to grasp, teams may go over the salary cap until the final day of training camp, so there’s no need to be under that magic number just yet. Derek Meech will most likely be removed if he fails to make the top six, giving the Wings even more wiggle room. They’re sitting pretty right now, twenty-one one-way players signed (i.e., excluding Mattias Ritola and Doug Janik).

Rest assured, Modano signing doesn’t mean that Helm and Abdelkader won’t be signed. It’s very clear that they’re in the Wings’ long-term plans, and Holland has admitted as much to anyone that’d ask. Push comes to shove (and it won’t, because it never does), they’ll wave goodbye to Drew Miller before they’d part with either of the homegrown boys. Theoretically, our forward corps:

Zetterberg :: Datsyuk :: Holmstrom
Franzen :: Filppula :: Bertuzzi
Hudler :: Modano :: Cleary
Abdelkader :: Helm :: Draper/Miller/Eaves
Suck it, Chicago Turcos. 
Yes, he’s 40. No, he’s not the player he was when he was 25. Yes, he pulled a tiny bit of a prima donna move this summer. No, it’s not unreasonable to allow him a few weeks to decide on his future after the service he’s provided. Yes, he’s still got some juice in the tank. No, he shouldn’t be vilified for Wings fans’ over-eagerness. Here are some things that might have slipped through the cracks in your blind rage that he didn’t do a backflip through fire for the Red Wings immediately…
  • He was an All-Star the last time there was an All-Star Game (09). And it wasn’t an “every team has to be represented” thing, because Stephan Robidas was there, too. 
  • Though he’s been a finalist for the Calder, Selke, and Byng Trophies, he’s never won an NHL Award. Selkes and Byngs are in the Red Wings wheelhouse. One might say that Mike Modano is a prototypical two-way center that the Wings are famous for.  
  • He and his one career fight (Brind’Amour) will immediately challenge Patrick Eaves for “No Way, He’ll Drop The Gloves?” Award.
And now onto the numbers game — what might he wear when he suits up in red and white since #9 is off-limits? I’m reading on Twitter that he’s worn 27 in two All-Star Games, but I couldn’t find any sort of confirmation of that. Every roster I’ve looked at with his name on it has #9 next to his name — including all of the All-Star Games. The only thing I found was a photo of Mike Modano in his Prince Albert jersey (from Juniors) wearing 22. So… take that, Lebda.

Scratch all that… per the Free Press, he’ll be in #90 in Detroit.

It doesn’t sound like we’ll know for sure until later in the week, as Modano himself texted “big announcement Thursday.” But all signs point to Mike Modano heading to Motown to finish his career near his hometown of Westland (or Livonia, depending on who you ask). I, for one, welcome him to the Wings — and I hope he proves all the Nodanos wrong. 

34 thoughts on “Red Wings sign Willa Ford, Some Old Guy To Tag Along”

  1. He's not being signed to be the saviour of the franchise. He's being signed to provide legitimate 3rd line scoring depth and yet another veteran presence. I think we're all holding our breath pending what happens with Helm and Abby, but it's a no-brainer they are going to be signed, because Kenny said so. Still, it would have been nice to see those deals get worked out before the Mikey signing. How long before someone makes the joke at his press conference of "Look Mom, Mikey likes it" (referring to the Winged Wheel sweater, of course)?

  2. He's not being signed to be the saviour of the franchise. He's being signed to provide legitimate 3rd line scoring depth and yet another veteran presence. I think we're all holding our breath pending what happens with Helm and Abby, but it's a no-brainer they are going to be signed, because Kenny said so. Still, it would have been nice to see those deals get worked out before the Mikey signing.

    How long before someone makes the joke at his press conference of "Look Mom, Mikey likes it" (referring to the Winged Wheel sweater, of course)?

  3. Since I am officially Italian, Protuzzi, and Nodano, it should provide balance to the universe.

  4. Since I am officially Italian, Protuzzi, and Nodano, it should provide balance to the universe.

  5. I just hope he was very unmotivated in Dallas, those "lazy" reports worry me (and Cleary).

  6. I just hope he was very unmotivated in Dallas, those "lazy" reports worry me (and Cleary).

  7. Let's start with the numbers he won't be wearing. Not available:1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 48, 51, 52, 55, 61, 93, 96, 99Numbers I would recommend (in order of how much I think it would work for Mo):85 – The last year Modano lived in Detroit. From there, he moved to Saskatchewan to pursue hockey (because our national development program sucked back then, and Mo has since been key to turning this around). Would be a sweet way to remind everyone what he’s doing here: Coming home, and leaving his Dallas and Minnesota legacies where they are. Fans of Petr Klima, I’m sure, would be okay with Mo borrowing it.36 – Three plus six = nine. Very few Red Wings have won this, and then not for long, so he could really own it.4 – Most recently Kyle Quincey, better known for Jamie Rivers, Jamie Pushor, Mark Howe and Rick Zombo. Was unavailable for several years when it got stuck between Uwe Krupp and Uwe Krupp's couch cushion; it finally had to be surgically removed.Typically a defensive number (e.g. Bobby Orr) Quattro's resemblance to 9 could keep the aesthetic ofModano 9and also continue to pay respect to the man Mo chose that digit for in the first place, since Mr. Hockey Junior wore 4 for Detroit.47 – Atomic number of Silver, from which Stanley Cups are made.49 – Gordie Howe was the “First” Nine. Yzerman was the second. Fedorov was the “3rd” 9. Plus, given the aforementioned 4/9 similarity, the aesthetic is Gretzkian.21 – It’s a center's number for Detroit. Think Adam Oates. There has long been hope that a youth will take over this number, Ville Leino being the last. Paul Ysebaert wore it.By the way, I posted much of this on SBNation a bit ago, for the three people who actually read WIIM.

  8. Let's start with the numbers he won't be wearing.

    Not available:
    1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 48, 51, 52, 55, 61, 93, 96, 99

    Numbers I would recommend (in order of how much I think it would work for Mo):

    85 – The last year Modano lived in Detroit. From there, he moved to Saskatchewan to pursue hockey (because our national development program sucked back then, and Mo has since been key to turning this around). Would be a sweet way to remind everyone what he’s doing here: Coming home, and leaving his Dallas and Minnesota legacies where they are. Fans of Petr Klima, I’m sure, would be okay with Mo borrowing it.

    36 – Three plus six = nine. Very few Red Wings have won this, and then not for long, so he could really own it.

    4 – Most recently Kyle Quincey, better known for Jamie Rivers, Jamie Pushor, Mark Howe and Rick Zombo. Was unavailable for several years when it got stuck between Uwe Krupp and Uwe Krupp's couch cushion; it finally had to be surgically removed.

    Typically a defensive number (e.g. Bobby Orr) Quattro's resemblance to 9 could keep the aesthetic of

    Modano
    9

    and also continue to pay respect to the man Mo chose that digit for in the first place, since Mr. Hockey Junior wore 4 for Detroit.

    47 – Atomic number of Silver, from which Stanley Cups are made.

    49 – Gordie Howe was the “First” Nine. Yzerman was the second. Fedorov was the “3rd” 9. Plus, given the aforementioned 4/9 similarity, the aesthetic is Gretzkian.

    21 – It’s a center's number for Detroit. Think Adam Oates. There has long been hope that a youth will take over this number, Ville Leino being the last. Paul Ysebaert wore it.

    By the way, I posted much of this on SBNation a bit ago, for the three people who actually read WIIM.

  9. This is great and all, but it's old news bro. Let's shift the talk to Willie Mitchell…(I'm not bitter that I quit writing and Modano signs. Not one bit.)

  10. This is great and all, but it's old news bro. Let's shift the talk to Willie Mitchell…

    (I'm not bitter that I quit writing and Modano signs. Not one bit.)

  11. Misopogon: 22 is available. The Maple Leafs paid an exorbitant amount of money to free it up for Mikey Mo by taking Lebda off our hands.At least that's the best answer I can come up with for that ridiculous amount of cash they dropped on him.

  12. Miso, why is #61 unavailable? Am I missing something? Not that I think he'll put #61 on…

  13. Misopogon: 22 is available. The Maple Leafs paid an exorbitant amount of money to free it up for Mikey Mo by taking Lebda off our hands.At least that's the best answer I can come up with for that ridiculous amount of cash they dropped on him.

  14. Miso, why is #61 unavailable? Am I missing something? Not that I think he'll put #61 on…

  15. MYS…genius stuff. My head hurts from all that numbers business, but a few random thoughts in response…22 – One of my favorite numbers for some reason. I don't have a player connection to it, but it always looks sharp. There is, however, the very real fear that by donning Leb's old sweater, Willa will start crushing pucks into the glass just under the netting on a regular basis and lose any sense of defensive responsibility. So…you know…proceed with caution.4 – The "looks like a 9" argument is as good a point as I can find for him wearing one of these. 21 – I've got some baggage with 21 right now. I feel like we're setting ourselves up for Modano coming here…sucking…and then going to the Caps and tearing it up through the playoffs. I won't be able to live with that happening (again).This is a tough spot, because even though I'm solidly Prodano, I don't want to give him too awesome a number. He hasn't earned it AS A WING…not yet. On the upside, if he did take a great number, he'd only have it for a short time. For that reason, I'm supporting Team 85. It's good enough, but not too good and I like the roots significance. Go Compuware.

  16. MYS…genius stuff. My head hurts from all that numbers business, but a few random thoughts in response…

    22 – One of my favorite numbers for some reason. I don't have a player connection to it, but it always looks sharp. There is, however, the very real fear that by donning Leb's old sweater, Willa will start crushing pucks into the glass just under the netting on a regular basis and lose any sense of defensive responsibility. So…you know…proceed with caution.

    4 – The "looks like a 9" argument is as good a point as I can find for him wearing one of these.

    21 – I've got some baggage with 21 right now. I feel like we're setting ourselves up for Modano coming here…sucking…and then going to the Caps and tearing it up through the playoffs. I won't be able to live with that happening (again).

    This is a tough spot, because even though I'm solidly Prodano, I don't want to give him too awesome a number. He hasn't earned it AS A WING…not yet. On the upside, if he did take a great number, he'd only have it for a short time. For that reason, I'm supporting Team 85. It's good enough, but not too good and I like the roots significance.

    Go Compuware.

  17. Huh — I thought I went and edited 22 back out. Oops. That was a typo that I fixed and somehow snuck its way back in.I like 22 for defense, but that's because I'm a Michigan guy: 1=offense, 2=defense.85 it is.

  18. Huh — I thought I went and edited 22 back out. Oops. That was a typo that I fixed and somehow snuck its way back in.

    I like 22 for defense, but that's because I'm a Michigan guy: 1=offense, 2=defense.

    85 it is.

  19. Petrella: 61 is Jan Mursak, who I believe is out of option years under the "Let's Fuck the Red Wings" NHL rule about how long a prospect can develop in the Red Wings' system before getting Quincey'ed.

  20. Petrella: 61 is Jan Mursak, who I believe is out of option years under the "Let's Fuck the Red Wings" NHL rule about how long a prospect can develop in the Red Wings' system before getting Quincey'ed.

  21. Jan Mursak has another year of waiver exemption, so I doubt very highly he is on the Red Wings in October. I bet he gets a call-up during the season (if necessary), but methinks he's fallen behind Tatar on the depth chart in Grand Rapids, as well.

  22. Jan Mursak has another year of waiver exemption, so I doubt very highly he is on the Red Wings in October.

    I bet he gets a call-up during the season (if necessary), but methinks he's fallen behind Tatar on the depth chart in Grand Rapids, as well.

  23. Ah, good. I had convinced myself I had to be ready for that annual Labor Day wincing when I imagine our prospects hitting the waiver wire just as soon as they're developed. Owaitaminute…no, I was just confusing him with Ritola.Ritola and The Amazon (Kindl) amirite?Anyway, it's not like Griffin numbers are protected, but considering Mursak Rocketskates is Injury Callup No. 1 (Tatar being the better long-term prospect but Jan the more NHL-polished) this year, is 61 really in danger here? I mean, you don't take 61 thinking someone 40-year-old on his way to the Hall of Fame is gonna drop in and steal that from you.You know what: This is way more time and effort than anyone should ever put into Squad No. 61, unless, like, Roger Maris's grandson gets called up to the Yankees and asks for an asterisk to be affixed to it or something. Suffice to say I had it on there for Mursak 'cause he's on my spreadsheet.*——————————* my spreadsheet of verificated awesome that is.

  24. Ah, good. I had convinced myself I had to be ready for that annual Labor Day wincing when I imagine our prospects hitting the waiver wire just as soon as they're developed. Owaitaminute…no, I was just confusing him with Ritola.

    Ritola and The Amazon (Kindl) amirite?

    Anyway, it's not like Griffin numbers are protected, but considering Mursak Rocketskates is Injury Callup No. 1 (Tatar being the better long-term prospect but Jan the more NHL-polished) this year, is 61 really in danger here? I mean, you don't take 61 thinking someone 40-year-old on his way to the Hall of Fame is gonna drop in and steal that from you.

    You know what: This is way more time and effort than anyone should ever put into Squad No. 61, unless, like, Roger Maris's grandson gets called up to the Yankees and asks for an asterisk to be affixed to it or something. Suffice to say I had it on there for Mursak 'cause he's on my spreadsheet.*

    ——————————
    * my spreadsheet of verificated awesome that is.

  25. Yup, you're right. Kindl and Ritola are waiver eligible. Kindl would get picked up, Ritola probably won't.And those assigned numbers aren't protected at all. I'm sure Mursak was given #61, not picked as his own. Similar to how Pavel Datsyuk wore #62 until he made the squad and selected 13. Likewise, Filppula was given 41…before being given 15 when it was apparent he'd make the team. He opted for the number he wore in Finland when he became permanent (51). 61 is a sweet number, but I doubt Modano's gunning for it. It's reserved for when the Wings sign Maxim Afinogenov. KIDDING KIDDING

  26. Yup, you're right. Kindl and Ritola are waiver eligible. Kindl would get picked up, Ritola probably won't.

    And those assigned numbers aren't protected at all. I'm sure Mursak was given #61, not picked as his own. Similar to how Pavel Datsyuk wore #62 until he made the squad and selected 13. Likewise, Filppula was given 41…before being given 15 when it was apparent he'd make the team. He opted for the number he wore in Finland when he became permanent (51).

    61 is a sweet number, but I doubt Modano's gunning for it. It's reserved for when the Wings sign Maxim Afinogenov. KIDDING KIDDING

  27. 61 is indeed a sweet number. Little known fact: Steve Yzerman wore #61 whenever he was upside down.

  28. 61 is indeed a sweet number. Little known fact: Steve Yzerman wore #61 whenever he was upside down.

  29. …And there goes that conversation. Per Free Press, Mike Modano will wear #90.But Miso has the WINest moment of the thread with the little known Yzerman fact.

  30. …And there goes that conversation. Per Free Press, Mike Modano will wear #90.

    But Miso has the WINest moment of the thread with the little known Yzerman fact.

  31. I hear that sometimes…when Mrs Yzerman is feeling frisky…she'll throw Stevie's jersey on with her legs through the armholes…kinda like when you're out on the boat drinking and want to jump in the water with the "ski vest diaper" flotation device. In that instance, it would appear that more than one Yzerman actually wore #61.

  32. I hear that sometimes…when Mrs Yzerman is feeling frisky…she'll throw Stevie's jersey on with her legs through the armholes…kinda like when you're out on the boat drinking and want to jump in the water with the "ski vest diaper" flotation device. In that instance, it would appear that more than one Yzerman actually wore #61.

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