For 20 years Mike Modano and the North Stars / Stars were one in the same. You thought of the franchise, you thought of the team and vice verse. Modano even had a cameo appearance in the Disney movie The Mighty Ducks as a North Stars player forever cementing him to generations of kids as part of the North Stars.
So when the Stars and Modano went there separate ways after the 2009-10 season many thought he was going to retire. He could of. No would have thought poorly on him. The Dallas fans and even the fans still up in Minnesota gave him heartfelt send offs.
Then Modano returned home.
News broke that he confirmed he was going to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. A native of Westland (a Detroit Suburb), Modano grew up in the area, skated at Joe Louis Arena, probably even ate Little Caesers Pizza growing up – the started in neighboring Garden City.
The city embraced the hometown hero – one often called the best American born player to play the game. Pride. That is what the city has always had for Modano and now he was ours again.
Then on a Friday night game in Columbus in late November, Modano may have played his last professional game. Against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Modano’s right wrist was cut by the skate blade of Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger.
The cut left Modano with a severed tendon and nerve damage. Is this really the tragic end to such a great career? I hope not. I am sure Modano is bothered and feels defeated; but I really hope he is determined to come back. Lucky for the hockey world he is now on a team with Johan Franzen who last year came back from a torn ACL to make it to the Olympics for Team Sweden and help Detroit with their play off push. Talk to the Mule Mike – no one wants you to go out like this.