Mike Modano seemed through with hockey after sitting out all of last season, but the 42-year-old saw a couple of fellow 40+ stars rekindle some old magic, while one franchise broke the bank in the city where Modano once called home, intriguing one of the best ever American born players to consider a comeback.
Modano has said he started working out again, but not necessarily to make a comeback. He said he is just keeping in shape, but when pressed about possibly returning to the National Hockey League this upcoming season, Modano answered “what the heck.”
Unfortunately, I’m just not sure it is a possibility. Not any more.
Yes, Jaromir Jagr turned in an impressive performance last season, and he turned that into a one year deal worth $4.55 million with one of Modano’s former teams, the Dallas Stars. He also saw that the Anaheim Ducks feel that Teemu Selanne can still be productive enough to make it worth their while to keep him around for decent enough change.
And while Modano would like to go down the same path as those two players, he has to keep in mind that he was not all that impressive during his injury riddled campaign with the Detroit Red Wings in the 2010-2011 NHL season. After 20 seasons with the Dallas Stars franchise, who, before moving south, were the Minnesota North Stars, Modano played in a disappointing 40 games. He totaled 10 points in 20 games prior to a wrist injury, but never looked quite like he used to after coming back.
But is there any interest in Modano at this point? The Stars are moving in a different direction. The Red Wings would seemingly have little use for him. The Wild are the team people continue to speculate about, as it would give Modano a chance to return to Minnesota, where he played many years in, but does it make sense for the team? They just signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, so they are hardly in need of any more star power, especially at this stage in Modano’s career.
That may not leave many other teams, unless some are simply looking to add a headliner whose best days are well behind him. I know he is still unhappy with how things ended, but that doesn’t mean he has enough left to attempt a comeback to change the taste left in his mouth. He may have to accept his retirement and move on with his life.
And that is even if we are subjected to a shortened season next year due to a possible work stoppage as the CBA expires.
Even playing less than 82 games may not be enough for a team to roll the dice on a Modano comeback.