Had a chance to catch up with Mike Modano yesterday…
As was reported late last week he has signed a one-year deal to join the Detroit Red Wings as their third line center.
A few weeks ago I tweeted that Modano had spoken with good friend Jeremy Roenick at length about his impending decision to come back or retire…and at Friday’s press conference it was noted that he also consulted with Brett Hull. What I found interesting yesterday was that he talked with several other athletes as well - and not just from the world of hockey – while mulling things over.
For example, at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe last month he spoke with “a number of guys,” including Charles Barkley, Marcus Allen and Joe Sakic. According to Mike, “Everyone had their own spin on things.” Understandably so when you look at that trio.
Sakic spent his entire 20 year career with the same organization (although in two cities, due to the team moving from Quebec). Allen played nearly a full career with the Raiders. Then, feeling that he wasn’t done yet after 11 seasons in the silver and black, he signed with Kansas City as a free agent - where he had a few productive years. Barkley played for three teams - starting in Philly for eight years before being traded to the Suns and then getting shipped to Houston four years later.
Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and Barkley to the Basketball version in 2006. Additionally, Barkley was voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. So any thoughts of their legacy’s being tarnished by changing teams should be dismissed. Emotions may have been running high at the moments they put on new jerseys - however, in the long run, logic prevailed.
Regarding his own tough decision, Modano said ”it just came down to having a chance to play for the Wings and how (Mike) Babcock and (Ken) Holland were throughout the whole process.” He is a big fan of several players in Detroit, adding “their line up had a lot to do with that decision.”
NHL players and fans both love to look over the schedule when it first comes out and circle the big games and key match-ups. Modano is no different. When I asked him if he was intrigued by the thought of facing former teammate Marty Turco, now with the division rival Blackhawks or if he had a feel for any of the other Red Wings rivalries, he was focused on one game…as you can imagine…”I’m looking forward to the Stars home opener against Detroit!”
Yes, indeed. Opening night in Dallas this year is going to have a whole new meaning.
If you watched Mike Modano last season, then you know…he still has more to give. Although it will be awkward to see him in red and white…and wearing #90, instead of his trademark #9…given the choices available, I’m glad he’ll be back for another season. He’s a hockey legend. And the game needs more people like Mo.