Mike Modano turned to social media to announce his retirement on Wednesday.
Modano, the all-time leading NHL scorer among U.S.-born players, posted the news on his Facebook and Twitter accounts and also announced he will be holding a press conference Friday.
"After a long summer of thinking about my future, I've come to the decision that it's time to retire as a player from the NHL," Modano wrote on his Facebook page, a link to which he also posted to his Twitter account. "There's way too many people to thank here at this time and too much to say, so I have a press conference scheduled for early Friday afternoon. Check back Friday late afternoon for more. What a great ride it's been!"
Modano played 1,499 regular-season NHL games, including 1,459 with the Minnesota/Dallas franchise, and finished his career with 561 goals and 813 assists for 1,374 points. The first pick of the 1988 Entry Draft, he made his NHL debut with the North Stars in 1989 and played 21 seasons. The native of Livonia, Mich., returned home last season to play with the Red Wings, but injuries limited him to only 40 games.
"We thank Mike for giving National Hockey League fans 21 years of thrills with his speed, his skill, his craftsmanship and his class," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement released Wednesday. "Mike also excelled on the international stage, representing the NHL and USA Hockey with great distinction. We congratulate this great representative of the game on an outstanding career and wish him the very best in the future."
A number of current and former players took to social media to congratulate Modano on his career.
"The greatest American player ever," ex-teammate Brett Hull told The Hockey News. "I don't think there's one better. He's by far No. 1."
"Congrats to (Modano) on a great career," tweeted Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul. "One of my favorites growing up. Always enjoyed playing against him, Sakic and Yzerman the most.
"Congrats to Mike Modano on a great career!" added Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan on his Twitter account. "The reason I picked number 9! What an awesome player, thanks for showing young Americans the way!"
Modano won the Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999. He holds NHL records for the most goals, points, playoff points (145) and games played by a U.S.-born player.
He also holds Minnesota/Dallas franchise records for games played in the regular season, games played in the playoffs (174), goals in the regular season (557), goals in the playoffs (58), assists in the regular season (802), assists in the playoffs (87) and points in both the regular season (1,359) and playoffs (145).
Modano was named to the NHL's All-Rookie team in 1990 and played in eight All-Star Games over his career.
At 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada will premiere "Mike Modano: American Icon," which takes a look at Modano's life and career, starting from his childhood in Livonia, Mich., through his final game with the Stars in 2010. Family, friends and former teammates will pay tribute to Modano for what he did for the game of hockey and how he'll be remembered. Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness