Thursday, September 22, 2011
Mike Modano to retire a Star
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars will sign Mike Modano to a one-day contract so that he can retire as a member of the team. The deal will be worth $999,999 based on his jersey No. 9. Of course, Modano won't collect the money. Once he puts his name on the contract, he'll retire.
Modano will hold a news conference Friday to announce his retirement.
"Mike Modano will always be the face of this franchise. He means so much to our organization and all of our fans," said general manager Joe Nieuwendyk, also a former teammate. "We wanted to give him the opportunity to retire as a Dallas Star. Mike has given his heart and soul to this game for over 30 years. On behalf of the entire organization and the National Hockey League, we would like to thank him for his dedication."
The 41-year-old decided it was time to end his playing career after 21 years in the NHL, making the announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday, saying: "I've come to the decision that it's time to retire as a player from the NHL."
Modano confirmed the retirement to ESPNDallas.com shortly after that.
"I think I knew in my heart I was done after last season," Modano said. "I had a harder time coming to grips with it than I thought I would. Part of me wanted to play it out and see if anybody had called in July. When that didn't happen, I figured that's pretty much it."
Modano leaves as a soon-to-be Hall of Famer, holding the mark as the all-time points leader and goal scorer among U.S.-born players.
The Michigan native was drafted first overall in 1988 by the Minnesota North Stars and became the face of hockey in Dallas when the organization moved to Texas in 1993.
He played his final home game with the Stars on April 8, 2010, scoring the tying and winning goals in an emotional game. He considers it one of his greatest memories of his hockey career.
Modano ended his career as a banged-up player who had lost a step and some zip off his shot during his one-season stint with his hometown Red Wings. A skate sliced a tendon in his right wrist and limited him to 40 games and career lows with four goals and 15 points with the Red Wings.
Mark Stepneski covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.