Could Mike Modano be thinking about an NHL comeback?
The 42-year-old center, who retired following the 2010-11 season, didn't completely dismiss the notion when playing again was brought up during a press conference Monday to announce his induction this past week into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Modano said he had started working out Monday not with a comeback in mind, but with the thought of "what the heck."
"I don't know," he said. "You look at things and you wonder, 'What's the worst thing that could happen?' I mean, I get in better shape. I don't know what's going to happen with the CBA and everything, but I mean, one more year? That kind of intrigues me."
"I think my last year in Detroit was a lot of fun, and I wish it would have ended differently, with the injury and everything. I wish it would have ended better, and there's a taste in your mouth about leaving the way it was it still haunts me." -- Mike Modano
After 20 years with the North Stars/Stars franchise, Modano played one season with the Detroit Red Wings in 2010-11, but was limited to 40 games due to a wrist tendon severed by a skate blade. He had 10 points in 20 games prior to the injury, but after missing three months, he never found a groove again.
"I've never really been able to fully close the door on that deal," he said. "I think my last year in Detroit was a lot of fun, and I wish it would have ended differently, with the injury and everything. I wish it would have ended better, and there's a taste in your mouth about leaving the way it was it still haunts me."
Just because his career didn't end the way he wanted, however, doesn't mean he has enough left to come back for one more season. He said he hasn't spoken to any team about a comeback and believes it would take him several months of full workouts to get himself into playing shape. And even if all that happens, he's still not sure he can play at the NHL level again.
"I think I'm in La La Land or Dreamland just thinking about it," he said. "You never know how that would work out, but I can't really see it happening. I think in the back of my mind, I would love to see something work out where I could go back for a year, but I don't know … I don't see it."