July 09, 2010
So much for "Detroit or bust." Unrestricted free-agent center Mike Modano(notes) told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com on Friday that both the San Jose Sharks and, more tantalizingly, the Minnesota Wild have contacted him about playing for them in 2010-11:
Modano said Minnesota may want to meet face-to-face with him soon, but no date has been set. "It would be a fun storyline," Modano said, referring to the fact he was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988 and moved with the franchise to Dallas.
He played his final game of 2010 in Minnesota, donning an old North Stars jersey as he waved goodbye. "It's the same scenario. I'm listening to what everyone has to say and taking it all in. I still have to decide if I'm going to play," he said.
Obviously, Modano needs to figure out if the trappings of an NHL regular season — training camp, practices, road trips in the Western Conference — are things he's ready to experience again at 40. You get the sense that he still has the competitive fire, but the devil's in the details.
Like, for example: His role on these teams. Durrett reports that Modano's seemingly successful meeting with the Detroit Red Wings this week had them discussing him "as a third-line center and on the second power-play unit," and he sees the Wild and Sharks being able to offer a similar role.
If it's about the money, Cap Geek has the Wild with $3,528,974 in space and 15 forwards under contract; the Sharks with $6,137,499 in space and 9 forwards (that's pending the Niklas Hjalmarsson offer sheet); and the Red Wings with $3,757,956 in space and 12 forwards under contract.
Climbing into the noggins of Dallas Stars fans for a moment: We imagine the Sharks are a slightly-less-nightmarish-than-Detroit-but-still-yucky option for Modano; but that the Wild are much more acceptable as an NHL finale for their beloved former Star/ex-North Star, in a circle-of-life kind of way.
But our money's still on Mo in Motown. The Red Wings took him to a Tigers' game, for Pete's sake.