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Friday, December 9, 2011
Lites: Stars want to find right job for Mike Modano

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars continue to talk to Mike Modano about a job in the organization, according to team president Jim Lites.

Modano announced his retirement in September after a 21-year career in the NHL, 20 of them with the Stars franchise.

Lites said Modano, the franchise’s all-time leader in just about every offensive category, likely will join the team on the business side of things, but the Stars want to make sure they find the right job for Modano, not just any job.

“Mike will do whatever we want; I just want to make sure we use him effectively. I want to make sure he is comfortable with what he is doing and it is substantive,” Lites said. “So what we want to do with Mo is get him comfortable and know what he wants to do because if we have him do things he is not comfortable doing, it will fail and that won’t be good. We hopeful and we’re getting closer.”

Modano’s met with Lites several times and he’s met with Tom Gaglardi, who discussed Modano joining the Stars when he took over the team last month.

“The guy is the most important player I think to ever have worn a Stars jersey. In my opinion, he’s the best American-born hockey player to ever play in the NHL. I’ve gotten to know Mike in the last little while and enjoyed my time with him,” Gaglardi said. “I’ve expressed an interest that I’d like to have him involved in some capacity with the Dallas Stars and Mike has expressed the same thing to me, and more recently to Jim Lites. Those are discussions I expect to have with Mike to figure out what he wants to do and where he might be able to fit. It’s my intention to include Mike Modano with the Dallas Stars organization.”

Lites said he’s not sure when Modano might join the organization, but he did not rule out the possibility of it happening at some point this season.

As for Modano’s number being retired by the Stars, a team official said that is in the early planning stages. No date has been set.