When Mike Modano was brought to Detroit over the summer, the general consensus was that he'd be a one-season rental. Modano seemed to reiterate that sentiment, saying that he'll probably retire if the Red Wings reach the Stanley Cup Finals.â†µ
"If we go that far, if we get to the Stanley Cup Finals, it would be it for me," he said after the morning skate Friday.â†µ
"Yeah," he said, "If we can get a nice, two-month run at the end here, I'd be happy with that. It would be worth it to have a nice long run to make this whole year worthwhile. It hasn't gone exactly how we all printed it up."â†µ
Modano won a Stanley Cup (albeit controversially) in 1999 with the Dallas Stars. After being forced out of Dallas by the club, he signed with his hometown Red Wings for one more shot at glory. He missed most of this season after a brutal encounter with R.J. Umberger's skate in November, severing a tendon in his wrist that forced him out of the lineup until late February. Modano has just four goals and 11 assists this season and has struggled to catch up.â†µ
"The last couple of weeks I've felt pretty good," he said. "I feel like I've built a base. Now it's just a matter of getting my mind right and getting mentally prepared for a tough playoff stretch. I've not played in the playoffs the last two years, so there's going to have to be a bit of a refresher. But I feel fortunate that I can fall back on those past experiences and accomplishments."â†µ
With the injury to Henrik Zetterberg it's highly unlikely that Modano will be left out of the lineup, although there has been some discussion. Head coach Mike Babcock said he will treat Modano like everyone else, but Modano's veteran experience will give him a strong edge for playing time.