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Wings help Modano get acclimated

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
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DETROIT – Mike Modano admitted that Thursday morning’s experience could likely be the first of many awkward moments for the veteran center.

“There probably will be a handful of those that will happen throughout the whole season,” said Modano, who staked with his new Red Wings’ teammates for the first time since signing a one-year contract with the club last month.

“Maybe this came at a good time in my career, where I needed something to rejuvenate me and ignite my career a little bit. Maybe this is it,” Modano said.

Modano, who was born in Livonia, Michigan, and attended Franklin High School, became a free agent when the Dallas Stars opted not to re-sign him. He reportedly drew interest from other organizations, but in the end, he decided to return to Detroit and an area where he played youth hockey.

“This is a great team, great organization, great city,” said Modano, who is the all-time leading American-born scorer in NHL history with 1,359 points in 1,459 career games.

While Modano spoke to reporters following Thursday’s informal practice he was immersed in Red Wings’ tradition and history as legendary hockey hall of famer Ted Lindsay sat across the room talking to Tomas Holmstrom.

“Just tons of history,” Modano said. “And some great pictures in the locker room of a lot of guys that I came here to watch in the 70s and early 80s. … Ted was always a cornerstone, obviously. It’s great that they still come around.”

Early in practice, Modano skated laps and chatted with veterans Kris Draper and Brian Rafalski, who helped – pardon the pun – break the ice.
“It was a little bit strange,” said Modano, referring to the first day. “Walking out a different tunnel and being around those guys. But it’s a good excitement though. I’m really looking forward to getting acclimated. Everybody has been great. I’ve known them for years and we’ve always had some good battles on the ice. They’ve always been competitive and real hard to play against on the ice.”
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