Mike Modano decided this week to keep his NHL career going by signing with the Red Wings. He'll make that official later this week.
I know for many Stars fans, it's not easy to see the face of the franchise sign with the hated Wings. And he'll arrive in Dallas for the Stars' first home game wearing a Red Wings jersey (I wonder which number...maybe 89?). But this is the right call for Modano.
First, it was the Stars not Modano that decided he would not be returning to Dallas. While those final games -- the home game in the AAC where he scored two goals and the goodbye in Minnesota -- would have been a wonderful goodbye for him, Modano still has life in his legs. He can still skate with the best of them, even if he isn't quite as quick as he was 10 years ago or even five. He can still help a team on the power play.
I understand Joe Nieuwendyk's reasons for moving on. He's got a young team and players that need to seize roles and develop. He didn't want them giving up ice time to Modano at the risk of hindering their development some. At some point, you have to move on.
But this isn't a player that has nothing left, either. Detroit clearly wanted Modano. They gave him the hard sell, talking with him in Detroit a few weeks ago and letting him know since then how much they valued his presence. Modano won't make huge money -- $1.25 million on a one-year deal -- and he won't have a role on the top few lines. He's likely to be a third-line center and play on the second power play unit. But he can play close to home and try for one more Stanley Cup.
So while it makes sense to want Modano to retire a Star, he still has some hockey left. Let's enjoy watching him for at least one more year. And when it's all over, he can still come back to Dallas and be a part of the organization in some form or fashion. Let's face it: He'll always be a Dallas Star.
What do you think of Modano's decision? What will it be like seeing him in a Red Wings jersey?