Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mike Modano on the Fence about Retirement

From Stephen Hawkins of the AP

Mike Modano woke up many mornings this season feeling good and wondering why he would think about retiring. Other days, the highest-scoring U.S. Born Player in NHL History was sure he was done.

A week after the end of his 20th full NHL Season, and with his contract expiring, Modano said he plans to take some time before deciding whetever to retire or play another season. He is also part of a group seeking ownership of the Stars, who are being sold by Tom Hicks financially strapped Hicks Sports Group.

"It's really hard, I'm really kind on the fence right now," Modano said Sunday about his playing future. "It's tough. And then you watch some of the playoffs, watch some of those games and it's like those of the things that you miss."

The Stars missed the playoffs for the 2nd season in a row, the first time that has happened since relocating from Minnesota 17 years ago.

"That's the hard part. You leave on a real bad taste in your mouth about how we played," Modano said. "That too is a real motivating factor because you hate to end on that type of note. You like to go in the playoffs, make a good run and have some excitement. But then you have a type of run like that and you're like, 'Hey, let's do it again next' ".

Modano was at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, where he was scheduled to drive the pace car before the start of Sunday's Rain Delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Race.

While pondering about his future, Modano can relate to the yearly drama surrounding what decision NFL Superstar Quarterback Brett Farve will make.

"He still feels he can throw and obviously he can", Modano said. "So I can see why we at this time gets real wishy-washy about we're going to do."

Modano only needed a month to make a decision last summer to decide he was coming back to play another season. But he had a guaranteed contract then.

This time, Modano doesn't have a contract for next season and has yet to discuss one with general manager and former teammate Joe Nieuwendyk.

"That will be something that's down the road as well. There's no rush to decide on that," Modano said. "I think Joe's kind of given me the leeway to kind of take my time and make a good decision and comeback and talk to him a few times, see how they feel. I've known Joe for years and he's been really honest and open about the whole scenario, so that's been nice."

The #1 overall draft pick by the Minnesota North Stars back in 1988, Modano was the last player remaining on the Stars when the team moved down south.

In 1,459 career games, Modano has 557 goals and 802 assists for 1,359 points, all team records. This season, he had 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points.

But Modano isn't expected to the be the team's primary scorer any more. Brad Richards finished 7th overall in scoring with 91 points, and players like Loui Eriksson and Mike Riberio are capable of scoring as well.

"The Pressure to kind of the main guy is far gone," Modano said. "So you just try to be a competitive guy, a little piece of the puzzle now and help contribute in any way you can."

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