Old dogs, wily veterans, seasoned warriors, grizzled vets, call them what you will, you'd be hard-pressed to find an NHL team that doesn't want to add at least one of them to their lineup over the summer.
Sure, most of them aren't what they used to be and can't really be counted on to carry much of load, but that's fine, that's not what their teams need.
Like ice in a cocktail, a veteran player isn't likely to define the drink, or even stir it, but take them away, and you know that something's missing.
Take Mike Modano for instance.
He's slated to center Detroit's third line and see some time on the second power play unit, not exactly marquee status.
However, having someone of Modano's experience, status, and yes, diminished, yet still significant talent on your third line is a huge plus for any team looking for scoring depth in the regular season and especially the playoffs.
The Detroit Red Wings' motivation for nabbing Modano for one year, and perhaps his last are obvious, but what about his motivation for coming to Detroit?
What was that Red Wings' owner Mike Illitch said at Modano's presser, "Cup-py, Cup-py, Cup-py"?
Of course, Modano already has his name on Lord Stanley's Cup, but ask anyone who's done it once, and they'll tell you that once most certainly isn't enough.
Modano wasn't just looking to come back for one more season in the NHL because he wants to prove to the world he can still play—he wants to win another Stanley Cup.
That alone is worth a single-year contract that pays him a fraction of what his previous annual salaries have been throughout his career.
At 40 years old, he's made all the money he needs and then some.
Modano and Detroit are hardly a rare story this summer.
Indeed, there have been other notable veterans who by all rights might do well to call it a career and enjoy the back-nine of their lives, but decided to submit to one last season of constant travel, working out, mandatory practices, not to mention getting beat up night and night out on the ice.
The proceeding five men are most likely in their final years in the NHL, and all of them are looking to make it one for the ages.
Though only one of them will, each believe they will be that one.