Long time leader and Dallas Stars icon Mike Modano announced on Thursday he would be returning for the 2009-2010 hockey season. While it was expected he would return rumors had surfaced that Modano may have been leaning toward retirement.
“I’ve made my decision and I’m coming back to play,” Modano said in the Stars press release. “I think everyone eventually knew I was going to come back, but I still wanted to take some time and think about things. Watching everyone else playing in the playoffs helped push me to make the decision. This is the best time of year and we want to get back to playing post-season hockey next season.”
Modano is a veteran of 19 seasons, all of them with the Minnesota/Dallas franchise. In part to the talent and charisma of Modano hockey has grown exponentially in Dallas since the Stars arrived 15 years ago. Additionally Modano holds virtually every franchise record, including games (1,400), goals (543), assists (786), and points (1,329).
Modano is also the top U.S. born player in NHL history in both goals and points. By playing one more season Modano will creep ever closer to Phil Housley’s assist mark of 894.
“I still feel very good and I continue to keep my body in the best shape possible,” Modano said in the Stars press release. “I’m looking forward to relaxing a bit this summer, but continuing to work towards the beginning of next season. I’m excited about returning and playing again.”
Modano has long been my favorite hockey player. I still recall my first Stars game and as I peered ahead I saw the long haired number nine with no helmet on. He seemed God-like in his skating and shooting abilities, and looked beside me and got my father's attention and announced to my dad that I felt I should cheer for number nine.
Even today, watching him skate with amazing strides takes me back to that game in my youth when I first saw him, and the Stars play. He made it look so easy I became determined to learn the great game of hockey and here I am today, a former player, ref, and now a writer. All because of Mike Modano and his amazing skill.
Welcome back for one more year Mike!
Ken Armer is a Community Leader for the NHL and the Dallas Stars for Bleacher Report. He also covers the Anaheim Ducks for TheHockeyWriters.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org