Mike Modano said he was "upset and disappointed" when he was told Monday night by Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk that the club was not going to offer him a contract for the 2010-11 season. The decision means his 22-year association with the Stars franchise, going back to his selection first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1988 draft, is over.
“I always thought there would be an outside chance of something happening here,” Modano told ESPN Dallas on Tuesday afternoon. “The dialogue that Joe and I have had going on for about a month and a half led me to believe I needed to prepare for things not happening. But when it’s here and reality sets in, it’s disappointing. I didn’t think it would happen. I was told some years ago that I’d be able to decide when I wanted to stop playing. But that was verbally and things change.”
Modano still hasn't decided if he'll play next season or not. He said Tuesday's decision by the Stars doesn't really alter his thinking one way or the other. If he does play, look for it to be on the west coast or at least in the Western Conference, if possible. And it would have to be a good fit, where Modano can play with some players he's familiar with and for a team that has a chance to win.
“I'm up in the air," Modano said. "I have to think about it. And if I have to think about whether I want to play or not, that scares me into thinking I might not play. It would be different if I were to say, ‘I do want to play, there’s no doubt.’ That would mentally give me a different feel than saying, ‘I’m still thinking about it.’ I’m not really committed one way or the other about that.”
Free agency begins Thursday, so Modano may know more then about possible landing spots. He does think he can still play.
“I think if I’m put in the right situation, I think I still can,” Modano said. “I’ve been slowly pulled away from my role here. Then I look around at other places and see guys still playing my age and who they play with and who they are on the ice with and I still feel I’m capable.”
Read more about Modano here. And be sure to check out our blog entries to see how various teammates feel about it.