It appears that our long, national soap opera of the summer is over.
No, not the one involving Ilya Kovalchuk. Nor is it the one involving Brett Favre, that one just got renewed for another season. It’s the one about a local guy who left home to play in the NHL for 20 years away from home is going back home to close out his career. You didn’t know that one? Sure you did, just under another name.
Mike Modano is going to be a Detroit Red Wing, and you’ll be surprised to hear who it was that helped sell him on the idea of playing for the Red Wings.
Since he couldn’t stay in Dallas and wasn’t ready for retirement, Mike Modano made the logical choice: He’s going home.
The native of suburban Detroit has agreed to a one-year deal with the Red Wings. He confirmed his decision in a text message to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The answer came while playing golf in Scotland with former Dallas teammate Marty Turco, the goaltender who signed with Chicago on Monday.
“It was a lot of back and forth internally, but I ultimately decided I wasn’t ready to hang up the skates so I’m going to Detroit,” Modano told ScoreBoard Monthly, the Dallas sports magazine that first reported the move.
Modano said he spoke with Minnesota and San Jose, but was swayed by discussions with Brett Hull and other former and current Red Wings.
“They all told me what a great organization and city it is to play in,” he said. “And mix in the incredible talent they have playing there and it kind of made my decision for me.”
I can’t imagine what Dallas Stars fans think of this turn of events. After all, it was Hull that played with Dallas and helped win them the Stanley Cup in 1999. Hull later went on to play for the Red Wings and won a Cup there in 2002 but returned to the Stars as a co-general manager only to give up that position to Joe Nieuwendyk. If anyone would know what it’s like to play in Detroit towards the end of their career, it would be Hull.
For Stars fans, however, this choice by Modano isn’t at all comparable to that of Hull’s. While Hull and Modano were keys to winning that Cup in 1999, Hull wasn’t a lifetime-long Dallas Star, Modano is, or rather he was. Modano’s time with the organization goes back to the days in Minnesota as the North Stars playing in Bloomington. Mike Modano has always been a Star and will always be recognized as one. About the only thing that might fuzz up some fans memories would be having Modano lift the Stanley Cup in June 2011 in a Red Wings jersey, a scene that might cause more heartache and anger in Dallas.
If you’re wondering what number he’ll be wearing as a Red Wing, it won’t be 9 as that’s hanging from the rafters of Joe Louis Arena. Instead, Modano will be wearing a different uniform with the number 9 present in it. He’ll be wearing the number 90.