Former Dallas Stars Forward Mike Modano to Retire from Hockey on Friday

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent ISeptember 21, 2011

DALLAS - APRIL 08:  Center Mike Modano #9 of the Dallas Stars celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on April 8, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Mike Modano is arguably the greatest American hockey player of all time, and Friday he will put an end to his storied career; one that will one day be retold at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Modano wrote the following on his Facebook page, via the Dallas Morning News:

"After a long summer of thinking about my future, I've come to the decision that it's time to retire as a player from the NHL. There's way too many people to thank here at this time and too much to say, so I have a press conference scheduled for early Friday afternoon. Check back Friday late afternoon for more. What a great ride it's been!''

Modano, 41, is one of the best players of this generation, and much of his career was played for the Dallas Stars organization, which originated in Minnesota.

In 1999, Modano helped lead the Stars to the franchise's only Stanley Cup championship, a six-game victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

He scored more points than any other American-born player in NHL history (1,374). Modano also holds Stars team records in games played (1,459), goals (557), assists (802) and points (1,329).

Not only was Modano a great player, the leadership and class he displayed on the ice earned him the respect of his teammates and opponents, and few players were as dedicated to the game and making sure it was played the right way as him.

Modano is also a major reason that the Stars were able to thrive in Dallas after their arrival from Minnesota, and was a big part in making the team a playoff contender for many seasons.

In a career filled with many memories, Modano attempted to share one with Dallas Morning News writer Mike Heika on Wednesday, but had a difficult time picking one moment:

"Honestly, the whole ride. From starting in Minnesota, to coming down here, to winning the Cup...I mean just all of it. It was all great. It seems like it goes by so fast. I don't really feel old or anything, but there was so much that happened and it flew by so fast. It's tough to think about all of it right now.''

The NHL and the sport of hockey will miss Modano's skill and integrity on the ice, and hopefully he continues to remain a big part of the sport and be an influence to the next generation of great American hockey players everywhere.

Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston. Follow him on Twitter for NHL/Bruins news and analysis.