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'Disappointed' Modano leaning toward returning

NHL.com @NHL

DALLAS (AP) -Mike Modano says he's "disappointed and upset" that the Dallas Stars won't offer him a contract and he's leaning toward returning next season with another team.

The face of a franchise that proved hockey could thrive in the South said Tuesday he thought all along the Stars weren't planning to bring him back for a 21st season. But he said he held out hope the team would decide otherwise.

Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk, Modano's teammate-turned-boss, ended those hopes two days before NHL free agency opens. Now Modano will shop around.

Nieuwendyk says the team needs to clear the way for younger players after Dallas missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since moving from Minnesota in 1993.

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