Even though Mike Modano’s career may have ended on an especially poignant note in Minnesota, it appears that Modano may not be quite ready to hang it up for good. Modano told the Dallas Morning News that how things go this summer will dictate what his future will holds.
On whether he feels he is part of the Stars’ plans next season: The vibes haven’t changed much. I have a sense of the direction that the team is going in, and I’m not sure if I’m part of that. I’ll have to see what unfolds in July.
On possibly playing for another team next season: I can’t say that wouldn’t happen, but for me to go to a different team, it has to be an organization that I’m very familiar with. That way I would feel comfortable.
On which organizations he feels familiar with: There are several teams out West: Phoenix , San Jose , Anaheim and LA. I know a lot of the players and coaches of these teams because we’ve played them so much.
The team on that list that sticks out like a sore thumb is Phoenix. As you know, Phoenix’s head coach is Dave Tippett, former Stars head coach. From a familiarity standpoint that makes Phoenix seem so obvious it hurts. As for San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles the familiarity he speaks of there comes from playing so many games against them during the regular season.
At 40 years old, Modano probably wouldn’t want to spend time scorching his legacy in Dallas (and turning last year’s two touching farewell games in Dallas and St. Paul into seemingly empty gestures) to play for someone in a totally new system and wasn’t an immediate threat to make a deep run in the playoffs. If you’re just picking from the teams mentioned Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles gives him a nice set of options with the Coyotes being a great team last year, San Jose being the top seed in the west and Los Angeles poised to turn into next season’s version of the Chicago Blackhawks. Anaheim, while always a threat to do well, is more in the company of the Dallas Stars as far as competition goes. They’re not bad, but they don’t stand out as well as the other teams do. The Pacific Division is rather nasty that way.
The sad part of this whole thing becoming a story, however, is the fact that Modano appears to be headed down a rather Brett Favre-like road this summer. Or is it a Mats Sundin-like road? I guess we’ll see if Modano joins the ranks of poker players to find out.