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Ruslan Salei to speak to Mike Modano about ugly hit from 1999

Dan Cleary, Ruslan Salei

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ruslan Salei, front, of Belarus, reaches out for the puck as Detroit Red Wings right winger Dan Cleary defends in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Monday, March 1, 2010. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


If time doesn’t heal all wounds, we’ll soon have a case study to look back on if that’s the case. One thing we mentioned back when Detroit signed defenseman Ruslan Salei was how back in 1999, he and Mike Modano had a bit of a run in. It was opening night for the Stars and Ducks and the Stars just raised their Stanley Cup championship banner. Salei celebrated with Modano during the game by crunching him from behind into the boards injuring him.

While fans generally have a longer memory about such events than many players might, it turns out that Ruslan Salei will make sure to clear the air before this season with the Red Wings when he and Mike Modano are teammates.

Ruslan Salei told reporters in Europe he will make a point to talk with Mike Modano and address the 1999 hit Salei laid on Modano that gave Modano a concussion, neck sprain. It was a scary play, and it’s a good idea for Salei to talk to Modano.

I doubt Modano is thinking about that incident much anymore. But it’s not a bad idea by Salei to clear the air, knowing both are now teammates on the Wings.

It’s good for PR and it’s good for writers to be able to feel like they’re doing their part to help quash a point of “controversy” that may not even have existed in the first place. Still, it’s good to see one veteran player reach out to another to make sure there’s no hard feelings anyhow. Whether or not this hit sticks in the mind of Mike Modano is unknown so just have fun picturing the awkward situation should Salei bring it up and Modano has no idea what he’s talking about.