Modano reminds players: “You’re only in the game so long”

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Mike Modano has a message for locked out NHL players – it ain’t worth it.

At least, it wasn’t for him.

The future Hall of Famer tells ESPN the Magazine that sitting out the entire 2004-05 season was a mistake. As such, he recommends the players find a way to get a deal done before they go through the same thing.

“It’s money you feel you never get back. At some point, we were sold a bill of goods,” Modano said. “Everybody was buying it. Everybody thought, ‘Let’s not let each other down. Let’s do it for the future of the game. Blah, blah, blah.’ You’re only in the game so long.”

Other ex-players have voiced a similar message.

In November, Dave Andreychuk advised locked out NBA players to get a deal done as soon as possible: “In the end, it will be worse.”

In October, Bill Guerin looked back on the 2004-05 lockout and concluded: “Burning a year was ridiculous.”

Defeatist attitude?

Or, just reality?

Regardless, it’s not something Donald Fehr will be happy to hear as players prepare to go without NHL paychecks and union solidarity is tested for real.

Related: A lockout will hurt some players more than others