It looked like a long-shot that Mike Modano would end up in Detroit, but what once was a pipe dream is a little closer to reality than originally thought.
ESPN and the Dallas Morning News both released reports that Modano is seriously talking to the Red Wings, but is also debating whether or not to continue his career. The DMN said that he’s had “his best conversations with Detroit” and would be a good fit in Motown:
Modano could be a good fit in Detroit. He’s a versatile centerman who understands their system. Ironically, they also have a lot of left-handed centermen (just like the Stars), but it all seems to work in Detroit. That said, the Red Wings are hard against the cap and have a lot of players already signed, so we’ll see. It could be a tough squeeze to get him in
Red Wings GM Ken Holland said he’s definitely interested in the 40-year-old all-time American scoring leader. According to Modano, Holland’s making quite a push:
“They’re selling it pretty hard,” Modano said. “Having a team like Detroit really interested in me is flattering. I could have some fun playing with some great players and a great organization. There’s a lot of upside to it. But for me, I need to figure out in my head what I want to do.”
As the DMN points out, the cap is the biggest enemy. Detroit has $54 million committed to the $59 million cap, and will also be hit with a $50,000 reduction next year for going over last year’s ceiling.
Detroit has also tendered offers to all five of its restricted free agents, further complicating talks with Modano. To get under the cap, the Wings are going to have to sign Modano to a basement deal, likely $1 million or less. For an over-the-hill player that might not seem too bad, but Modano might not want to take that much less, even if it means returning home to Michigan.