Minnesota’s professional hockey scene has been on a rollercoaster ride since Mike Modano and the North Stars left for Dallas after the 1992-93 season, but with the big signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter by the Wild last week, a new era of hockey has begun in Minnesota.
The news has Minnesota fans excited and players around the league wanting to join the Wild as the team attempts to build a winning tradition. Even Modano seems interested in returning to where his career began 23 years ago after he tweeted, “Can I come back and play in Minnesota too…?”
He might have been kidding but it opened the door for all sorts of rumors surrounding the 42-year-old.
Last Sunday a rumor began to spread that the San Jose Sharks gave Modano an offer – an offer that was most likely a training camp tryout. It was the first time his phone rang with an NHL offer since he announced his retirement in 2011. The rumor may or may not have been true but it led to Modano admitting he’s willing to contemplate a return.
“If the phone ever rang, if there was somebody who inquired, I would give it serious thought about playing,” he told the Buffalo News. “There’s a sour taste in my mouth with the way [my career] ended. I thought it would be more of a fairytale departure.”
Talking on the phone and skating on the ice are two completely different things and there’s no doubt Modano is not in shape, or NHL ready, but he still has a few summer months to prepare if he decides to make a comeback. He did admit that he began working out on Monday just in case he does want to end his career in fairytale fashion.
Modano spent 20 seasons with the Stars franchise and his final season with the Detroit Red Wings, playing in 1499 games, scoring 561 goals and 1,374 points. He holds the record for most goals and most points by a United States-born player.
While a return still seems highly unlikely, we can’t help but imagine that some team would be interested in Modano for his leadership and experience. Hey, if Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne can still play at their age, why not Modano?
Photo Credit: AP