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No one is a winner: Thoughts on today's Mike Modano news

Jun 29, 2010, 5:30 PM EST

Modano7.jpgI’ve held off from commenting on this subject today, because I feel
that perhaps I’d be too emotionally vested in the story to be as
objective as possible.

That didn’t last very long, however, as I
have to share my thoughts on the subject. I’ll be as brief as I can, and
try not to let my emotions get in the way.

There’s no doubting that Mike Modano is the reason I became a
hockey fan. When hockey first came to North Texas, Modano was the face
of the franchise and the player used to sell the sport to the locals. He
was good looking, he was charismatic, and he was an incredible player.

I’m
not going to go into a Mike Modano career retrospective, but there are
countless moments throughout his moments that will always stick in my
mind.

After watching how the Dallas Stars fans gave Modano such a
great send-off at the end of the season, I internally hoped with all I
had that Modano would decide to retire. That it would be his decision,
that he would make the decision as quickly as he could, and that moment
at the AAC is what we all remember.

Instead, Modano took his time
making a decision and the Stars were forced to act. It wasn’t the most
desirable outcome, but one we all knew was coming. The sense coming from
the Stars at the end of the season and the past few months was that
Dallas would be moving on without Modano, and now that the day is here
it’s a tough, tough pill to swallow.

Fans are wont to blame Joe
Nieuwendyk or the ownership situation, but there’s plenty of
responsibility for this to go around — including with Mike Modano. He
certainly deserves the chance to make his own decision on whether to
return to playing hockey or not, but he put the team in a tough
situation by not making a decision over the past few months. With free
agency looming, Nieuwendyk was forced to make the hardest decision of
his short tenure and be the first to act.

We knew this was coming,
but today the Stars made it official – no matter what, Mike Modano
will not be with the Dallas Stars next season.

Talking
to ESPN Dallas
, Modano said that he’s disappointed in the decision
finally being made:

“I always thought there would be an outside
chance of something
happening here,” Modano told ESPN Dallas on Tuesday afternoon. “The
dialogue that Joe and I have had going on for about a month and a half
led me to believe I needed to prepare for things not happening. But when
it’s here and reality sets in, it’s disappointing. I didn’t think it
would happen. I was told some years ago that I’d be able to decide when I
wanted to stop playing. But that was verbally and things change.”

He would go on to say, that even now, he’s still unsure of
whether he wants to play next season. With the ownership situation in
flux and the team facing tough financial restrictions, Joe Nieuwendyk
had to be the first to act.

Brad
Gardner at Defending Big D
called it a “lose-lose” situation, and
there’s no other way to put it. The Stars at some point had to move
forward, even if Mike Modano is still a capable player. Nieuwendyk is
having to do some incredible spin-control with this, doing his best to
publicly praise Modano and invite him back. This is one of those cases
where it was purely a business decision, but one that felt entirely too
personal for every Stars fan out there.

Some fans were calling
today’s decision “classless” by the Stars, and that there was a better
way to go about it. The team put together an incredible tribute to
Modano at the end of the season and spearheaded perhaps the best final
game with a team a player has ever had. Short of launching a parade and
unveiling a Mike Modano statue in Frisco, there wasn’t going to be much
the team could do to make this look any better.

No matter how you
feel about, there is no doubting this: this is truly the end of an era
as Mike Modano, after 20 years with the team that drafted him, will no
longer be with the Dallas Stars as a player. As a hockey fan and a Dallas Stars fan, that thought makes me incredibly sad and emotional.

No more one-timers from the circle.

No more jerseys waving in the wind behind him.

No more of that customary smile we see when he scores, or the determination we see on his face when things get tough.

No more #9.

  1. Nancy - Jun 29, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    I had so hoped that he would retire. I cannot stand the thought of see Mike in another team’s jersey next and for what? The Stars needed to move on.. but it is not like they are going any where next season with or without him. I am not sure what team, that is playoff bound, is going to sign him.. but remember Brett Hull??? It hurt to see him as a Wing but it got him another Cup.

  2. DK - Jun 29, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Agreed on all points. Can’t really blame anybody, but it still sucks. Cannot imagine him in any other jersey. I’m still holding out hope he ends up retiring. He just means to much to Dallas hockey to see him somewhere else.

  3. Eva Cole - Jun 29, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    I hope Mike retires. Can’t think of him in another jersey.

  4. SanHo - Jun 29, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    He’d look good in a teal sweater. He’s welcome by SJ fans any day. We like to give guys one more year to try.

  5. chris - Jun 29, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    my first hockey game asw the north stars against the penguins in minnesota at the met center in 1991. ive been a mike modano/stars fan ever since. this is a sad day

  6. StakeX - Jun 29, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    He should retire. Its clear his ability is failing and he should follow the example of Gretzky and Mark Messier and retire before hes little more then a circus attraction.
    Don’t get me wrong, Modano was a very solid player over the years. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he was an amazing player, but still he put up very solid numbers for a large part of his career. However his production over the last 4 seasons, and 5 of the last 6 has been very diminished. His skills are clearly leaving him and while he might still have something left in the tank… hes not going to add a whole lot other then experience to a team. Its not like the situation with Brett Farve where hes quite a way over the hill, but coming off his best season ever… Modano is clearly in a downward spiral that has little chance of changing.
    I mean if he wants to play, and a team is willing to take him then so be it… so long as its not the Rangers. In fact, knowing Sather Id bet if Modano plays this year he WILL be with the Rangers. They need scoring and speed… so Sather will go out and pick up the 41 year old vet who struggled to 30 points last year.

  7. John - Jun 30, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    People keep making an issue over his production last season. He scored 30 points playing on the third and fourth lines with wingers who couldn’t finish. Put him on a line with players who can put the puck in the net and watch him get 50 – 60 points this year. He can still play. Zubov, Turco and now Modano. I am a Stars fan no more. I sure hope Lehtonen goes somewhere else now.

  8. John - Jun 30, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    I meant Lehtinen not Lehtonen.

  9. Whitey - Jun 30, 2010 at 7:10 AM

    If he signs with someone else, will we boo him on our home ice? I hope not!

  10. cman - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    I hope he goes to the Coyotes if he plays next year. I would rather he retire. I will cheer for him if he comes to town with the coyotes, then he will be with the coach we shouldn’t have gotten rid of as well…

  11. Starsfan4life - Jun 30, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    sanho
    teal…..vomit
    sj can kiss the Big D’s A$$

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