May 19, 2011, 9:15 PM EDT
As great as their star players have been, the Tampa Bay Lightning made it to the Eastern Conference finals thanks in part to big contributions from lesser-known players. It’s doubtful anyone without the last name “Bergenheim” expected Sean Bergenheim to be tied with Daniel Sedin for the most goals (eight) in the 2011 playoffs so far, for example.
The Lightning franchise isn’t unfamiliar with unsung heroes coming up big in the playoffs, either. (See: Fedotenko, Ruslan.) Yet as Damian Cristodero points out, Fredrik Modin was far from a nobody during his best days with the Lightning, even if he was overshadowed by stars such as Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards. After all, it’s tough to call a guy who authored two 30+ seasons anonymous.
Either way, Modin announced his retirement with limited fanfare today. The hard-shooting Swede appeared in 14 NHL seasons, scoring 232 goals and 462 points in 898 career regular season games. His best moments probably came in Tampa Bay’s 2004 Cup run; he produced an impressive 19 points in 23 games that playoff year to help them win it all.
Modin is just 36 years old, but lingering injury issues are almost certainly the reason he decided to hang up his skates. Things seemed to fall apart after his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played in just 23 games in 2007-08, 50 in 08-09, 44 in 09-10 and 40 this season. He bounced between four teams in those last two seasons, which shows that his skills were still respected but his injury problems ended up ruining his chances.
While he might wonder what could have been if he was healthier, he still produced a long career with that Cup winning run being one of his greatest moments. He also played in the 2001 All-Star Game and won a gold medal as a member of the Swedish Olympic team in 2006, though.
Modin also bares a striking resemblance to Michael C. Hall from “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under.” Sure, that doesn’t really matter to most, but it makes Modin more memorable to Internet goobers such as myself. It’s unlikely that Lightning fans and former teammates need comical analogies to remember his contributions, though.
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