Red Wings Introduce Mike Modano

Mike Modano's hockey career began as a child playing for Mike Ilitch's Little Caesars team, and now he is returning to Detroit to finish his career with Ilitch's Red Wings.

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Mike Modano's News Conference Scheduled For 2 P.M. Tomorrow

From the Free Press:

The Red Wings have scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. Friday to introduce hometown hockey superstar Mike Modano.

Originally the news conference was scheduled for 2:30 p.m., but it has been moved up a half-hour.

If you want to watch the news conference and get your first look at Mike Modano in a Red Wings uniform, FOX Sports Detroit's website will be streaming it live.

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Mike Modano Will Play For Red Wings Or Retire

Mike Modano hasn't made a concrete decision about his hockey future, but he has narrowed his options down to two specific choices: play for the Red Wings or retire.

"There isn't any other team," said Modano, standing outside Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch's suite at Comerica Park Tuesday night. "It will be here or I'm not playing. I think it's narrowed to that."

While it has been previously reported that a decision is "not imminent," Modano sounds like he wants to get this process moving relatively quickly. Considering he's not going to be taking any other visits based on his above comments, right now it's simply a decision of to play or not to play.

"The last couple of years have been tough and they've taken a toll on me, mentally more than anything else," he said. "Physically, I still feel fine and I can play, but you have to try and get that excitement back about playing.

"If I could get it here, it's probably a given with the talent and the type of team they have. To be able to go out winning another Stanley Cup, that would be phenomenal."

[...] "The sooner the better," Modano said of his decision. "I know they would love to get an answer so they can get their cap and their roster situated. I don't want to delay this."

I would not be surprised at all if Modano does decide to retire, but if I had to predict right now, I'd say that he ends up signing with the Wings. Detroit badly wants to sign him, and the Wings fit Modano's criteria as far as competing for a Stanley Cup goes. What's more, as Modano alluded to previously, to be able to play on the same team as guys like Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Nick Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski is a unique opportunity for someone in his situation.

I could see why he would opt for retirement, but in the end I think this will just be too good of an opportunity to pass up. No, the money won't be out of this world or anything, and he's not going to be anything more than a third-liner. But to be able to close out your career by returning home and being on a team that should compete for a Stanley Cup is pretty special.

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Mike Modano To Meet With Wings, Check Out Tigers Game Today

At this point it is unclear if Mike Modano is going to retire or play for at least another season. If he does decide to come back, however, one thing that does seem pretty likely is that he will play for the Red Wings. Although this once seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream, Modano playing for the Wings is becoming more and more likely by the day.

"Ken (Holland) had shown a lot of interest. It's been exciting talking to him and getting his whole feel on the thing," Modano said. "It's just a matter of with me, I'm trying to process whether or not to play.

"Detroit has shown a lot of interest, so I'm going to come up for a day, sit down with them face-to-face, take in a ballgame. It's a great team, great opportunity, great coach. There are a lot of positives."

That day is today, as Modano is scheduled to fly to Detroit this morning and meet with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland this afternoon. What will come of that meeting remains to be seen, but there's no doubt Modano is interested in joining the Wings.

"It's such an intriguing place,'' he said of Detroit. "They want to win and they can win now. They have great players and a great system. They believe they can find a way for me to fit in. It's flattering that they think I could help them, and I really want to see if that's possible.''

"It's a big decision, and I know it would be for them too, so we'll talk about it and see if this works for both sides,'' he said. "I'm excited. I'm looking forward to hearing what they think.''

Based on the comments Holland has made in the last week, the Red Wings want to sign Modano. I would assume their hope from meeting with Modano today is for him to decide to play another year and just go ahead and sign with Detroit. Things may not happen quite that fast, but at this point I would be surprised if Modano ends up anywhere but Detroit if he does come back for another year of hockey.

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