ST. LOUIS — Moments after making his way to the dressing room after the morning skate, Fredrik Modin was asked if he’d had a chance to discuss his role with the Calgary Flames.
The answer was a concise “no”, but Modin did have an explanation.
“It’s been kinda hectic,” he said.
For starters, he barely made it to St. Louis in time for the early practice.
A day after being acquired by the Flames from the Atlanta Thrashers for a seventh-round draft choice, Modin readied to join his team in the morning.
Then came the glitch. His flight from Atlanta to St. Louis was cancelled.
“There was one an hour later, so they just ripped up my ticket and gave me another one,” he said. “I got in here, changed and got in the morning skate.”
Hopefully that’s the end of the chaos in what’s been a trying season for the 6-foot-4, 218-lb. left winger.
At age 36, he’s battled back issues all season. The good news in that area is he says he feels fine now, and played the last two games prior to the trade deadline.
The second issue has been finding his offensive touch. With seven goals and 10 points in 36 games this season, Modin is battling to keep his game at the NHL calibre.
The Flames see him as a depth player, but Modin is capable of being on the third line, although he wasn’t in action during Tuesday night’s clash with the St. Louis Blues.
“A lot will be determined how guys are playing, but he’s a big, strong guy, kind of a power forward, with good hands and can shoot the puck,” said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. “When he plays, which line (he’s on) will depend on why he’s in the lineup and what our thoughts are at that time.”
Which is fine for Modin, who has Olympic and world championship titles to his name as well as the 2004 Stanley Cup victory as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I’m sure all that will sort itself out,” he said. “When you’ve played for a while, it’s easier to come in, see where you fit in, adjust to systems, stuff like that. I feel comfortable about doing that.
“They’re right in the mix of things and the West is really tight in terms of points. It’s a fun time and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it.”
Calgary’s other deadline-day acquisition, defenceman Brett Carson, arrived in St. Louis in the afternoon and also didn’t play in Tuesday’s contest.
Although Modin has spent the bulk of his career in the Eastern Conference during stints with Toronto, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Los Angeles and then the Thrashers, he has a handle on the Flames’ style of game.
“It’s a team that likes to hold onto the puck in the offensive zone, take the puck to the net, get around the net and get some ugly goals. I’m all for that,” Modin said. “The team has been playing tremendously for the past month or so, doing things right, so I’m trying to pick up things to follow.”
The trade not only give him a legitimate shot at the playoffs — the Thrashers have fallen on hard times after a hot start — but also means Modin doesn’t have to hear about ownership issues for the rest of the season, something that’s plagued the team in Atlanta for a while.
“As a businessman, you want to make money off what you have, and if that doesn’t happen, you try to find solutions,” he said. “As a player, you don’t think about it. You’re aware of the situation, but you try to focus on what you have to do and go forward from there.”