DETROIT – Mike Modano, the hometown hockey hero, who has only known one NHL organization in a magnificent 20-season NHL career, stepped-out onto the Joe Louis Arena ice Thursday morning for the first time with a winged wheel on his chest.
Modano, who was born in Livonia and attended Franklin High School, signed a one-year contract with the Red Wings last month. He became a free agent when the Dallas Stars opted not to re-sign him. He reportedly drew interest from other teams, but in the end, he decided to return to Detroit and an area where he played youth hockey.
Modano was one of the first Wings to head to the ice Thursday. During warm-up laps prior to the informal practice, he casually skated with veteran forward Kris Draper and defenseman Brian Rafalski. Modano and Rafalski were Team USA teammates on three different occasions, including the Salt Lake City Olympics and Turin Olympics.