From the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika.
Nashville Predators management did a disservice to the game of hockey Saturday night by not informing the crowd of Mike Modano’s achievements, Stars president Jim Lites said Sunday.
And further, coach Barry Trotz’s comments praising Jordin Tootoo for showing calm when punching Stephane Robidas (above) was “patently ridiculous,” according to Lites.
“Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff “ I think they all failed the game,” Lites said. “It’s because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment … it’s just a horrible thing.”
The fact Modano was approaching Joe Mullen’s record for goals scored by an American-born player was not mentioned over the arena’s public address system Saturday. Nothing was said when Modano tied Mullen at 502 goals nor when Modano broke the record at 503. Instead, the crowd booed Modano for his part in a skirmish that led to Tootoo being penalized and continued to boo him the rest of the night.
“I understand it’s a competitive situation, but we’re also working together to sell the game,” Lites said. “They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I’m sick of it.”
Robidas received a concussion after he was hit in the face by Tootoo. Robidas was rushing to the defense of Modano but had not dropped his gloves. Tootoo said he felt Robidas was charging for a fight and punched Robidas in the face while still wearing his gloves Robidas fell to the ice and suffered a concussion. Robidas received a two-minute penalty for charging, while Tootoo received a double-minor for roughing.
The Morning News’ Heika points out that during the 2004 lockout, Modano was amongst those who suggested Nashville as a candidate for contraction.