Kool Modin: How Ya Like Me Now?


Flash back to June 30th, 2006, Free Agency Eve, The Blue Jackets made a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning, sending Marc Denis to the Sunshine State to pave the way for Pascal Leclaire, the goalie of the future, to take the reins.

Incoming would be relatively unknown goaltender Fredrik Norrena and Fredrik Modin, a proven goal-scorer to help Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev lead Columbus to its first ever berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Blue Jackets fans were salivating at the thought Modin's thirty-one goals from the previous season and twenty-nine  from the year before the lockout, believing that he was the missing piece.

Now, three seasons later, Marc Denis is struggling to find a job, even as an AHL net-minder. LeClaire and Zherdev have been shipped off to Ottawa and New York, respectively, and Fredrik Norrena got lost last season and somehow wound up in the KHL. But Modin is still here, and was a part of the Blue Jackets first ever playoff crew... a nigh invisible part. What happened?



Fredrik Modin played 79 games in his first season as a Blue Jacket and put up a respectable stat line...

           GP       G           A              P            +/-           PIM            PPG          PPA         PPP        SOG          SHT%

           79       22         20           42            -3             50                6                6             12           220           .100


Sure, he didn't match what he did in his final season with the Lightning, but the numbers were respectable for a less offensive team like the Blue Jackets. Everything looked like it would work out alright. But the next two years would provide the following line out of a possible 164 games.

           GP       G           A              P            +/-           PIM            PPG          PPA         PPP        SOG          SHT%

           73       15         22           37            3              48                4                6             12           154          .097


Freddy missed well over half of the Blue Jackets games from 2007-2009 due to various injuries and was hardly a force when in the lineup. Did anyone even notice that he appeared in 50 games last season? A guy who was supposed to be a top six forward and perennial thirty-goal-scorer, has not been so.

Barring an injury to one of the key offensive cogs, Modin likely won't even have a chance to sniff the top six this season, and will wind up fighting for time on the third and fourth lines. My next piece will address those battles and possible roster moves to facilitate them. After all, Modin could possibly be dealt; when healthy, he has a track record that many teams would have a hard time saying no to.

Health and durability are going to be the big issue with #33 from here on out. Can he give you a full season? Can he produce consistently for that season? Do you need to have an insurance policy close at hand?

Am I saying that the Blue Jackets lost out on the trade? By no means. Marc Denis has only appeared in 55 games since being dealt, while Norrena, Leclaire, and now Steve Mason have all improved on the season before them as the Blue Jackets' featured goalie. No loss there.

Not that Fredrik Modin is a total bust, he's just not been the person the Blue Jackets though they were getting, and now he'll be fighting for playing time. It's a great thing, though when you have a player like Modin who can't fit into your top six. He's a wonderful third / fourth line asset... if you can even fit him there.

When healthy, Fredrik Modin can be a solid Ken Hitchcock-style player with his size and can help get some scoring depth going. All I'm saying is that, from being a one-time lock for the first or second line, it's a long way that Modin has fallen. But as a Jackets fan, we should be excited to still have him around, if he indeed sticks around.

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