<
>

Highlights of Nieuwendyk's conference

6/29/2010
Play3:25
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk On Mike Modano

Nieuwendyk on decision to move on without Modano

Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk spoke with the media at a news conference at American Airlines Center. Here are some of the highlights:

On Modano the player and if he'll play again: "He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with. We will always leave the door open for Mike and find him a place inside the organization. We wanted to give Mike every opportunity to speak with other teams if he wants to continue to play."

"I was 40 years old playing. It's a tough decision. You've done something and you wake up and do the same thing every day."

He’s been terrific. We’ve talked all throughout the season, at trade deadline and end of the year. He’s got a lot of emotions and feelings. He’s been an icon in this city for a long time, so he’s still wrestling with those decisions."

On if he took into account selling the Stars without Modano: "My job is on the ice. I realize the impact Mike has on this franchise from a selling point. You’re not going to replace Mike Modano. He's been a special person and a special player for so many years in Dallas. But like all great players, at some point you have to turn the page. I feel like it’s time we turn the page."

On making tough calls: "I realized taking this job I was going to be faced with difficult decisons. I've had to face some very tough decisions because I’ve played with some of these guys. They are my friends. I have to do what I fee like is necessary. The strength is with our young players. We have to find the next Mike Modano. We won’t find the same Mike Modano, but we have some young players that want to push it to the next level."

On depth at center: "That’s really the strength of our team with Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro, Jamie Benn at center. Steve Ott can play there and the guy everyone forgets about, Tom Wandell. So that's a strength of our team."

On if Modano can play again: We see him skaing out there and playing on the power play and he's certainly capable of playing. Mike is a talent. The role we had him in doesn’t really satisfy him. With Wandell coming back, I’m not so sure the role would have been better or increased. If we’re going to move forward, we have to put our young players in position."

On the team going forward: "I do feel good about the youth of our team. We’re positioned now to have a very competive team. I’m talking to GMs, but it has to fit in with what we have right now. If we can do something that makes sense and to better our hockey club, we'll do it."

On new ownership: "If it happens next week, three months from now, we’re going to be well positioned if we have certain things to spend. We don’t have contacts that go out 10, 12 years. We will have flexibility."