Three weeks ago, Mike Modano told a reporter before a celebrity baseball charity event that he expected to make a decision on his future in "two to three weeks" time.
Friday hits the three-week mark and appearing Thursday on the Bob and Dan radio show on 1310 The Ticket in Dallas, the future Hockey Hall of Famer sounded an awful lot like a guy who's made up his mind to retire.
When asked if he will play again, Modano told the hosts, "I don't know. I think that was the swan song."
Later, when asked if he wanted to make his retirement announcement right then and there on the show, Modano's reply was, "Not yet."
We were sort of down this road with Modano a year ago, except the only major change this time around is the number of interested teams. Last summer, the Dallas Stars decided they would not bring back the face of their franchise in late June opening the door for a hometown return to the Detroit Red Wings, which the 41-year-old said it was Motown or retirement and he would have regretted passing up the opportunity to play there.
In early August that signing became reality, but after a year in which Modano played 40 games for the Red Wings in the regular season, two in the playoffs and missed time with a severed tendon in his wrist, the retirement question was going to be inevitable this summer.
The conversation went forward into Modano's future after hockey and he said he wanted to stay in the game in some capacity, but not in a coaching, management or personnel role. So "Ambassador of Fun" like Brett Hull was? "No," said Modano.
The topic of getting into ownership was brought up and Modano did say he's had some talks with a group that's looking at the Stars and even gave his personal critique of the franchise at the moment.
"It's a mess here. The lenders ... You've got a team that's way overvalued and they don't know anything about hockey and they don't know how it's going to unfold.
"There's a lot of stuff to fix once you kind of pull back the layers on it."
The sale of the Stars is still ongoing and numerous parties have been kicking the tires recently, but once a new group is in charge there needs to be a Chicago Blackhawks-like renaissance as Modano brought up.
"There's a lot of wounds that probably need to be healed with a lot of corporations, a lot of sponsors, a lot of season-ticket holder people, and that will take time."
The interview ended with Modano telling the hosts, "See you in a couple weeks for the big announcement."
Given Modano's tone throughout, it's hard to pick up any ounce of sarcasm in his goodbye and it appears the NHL will lose another great veteran before summer's end.
Stick-tap Defending Big D for the audio
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