“I’ve made my decision and I’m coming back to play,” Modano said. “I think everyone eventually knew I was going to come back, but I still wanted to take some time and think about things. Watching everyone else playing in the playoffs helped push me to make the decision. This is the best time of year and we want to get back to playing post-season hockey next season.”
A veteran of 19 seasons in the NHL, Modano has played 15 of them in Dallas – more than any other professional athlete in the history of the city. He holds virtually every franchise record, including games (1,400), goals (543), assists (786), and points (1,329).
Modano has more goals and points than any other U.S.-born player in NHL history. He’d have to play past next season to have a chance to catch Phil Housley’s assist mark of 894 (Modano is currently 108 behind).
So we asked Mike if this was a possibility. Entering the last year of a five-year contract, is there a chance he will consider playing past his 40th birthday?
“I think there’s a chance but I’m going to take this season-by-season and see how I feel,” he said. “A part of me wants to keep coming back to play until they tell me they don’t want me to come back. I love playing the game. We’ll see how this coming season goes and go from there.”
Modano skated in his 1,400th game in Dallas’ final game of the season at Anaheim on April 10. He became just the 30th player in league history to play in that many games. Only four current players have hit the 1,400-game mark – Chris Chelios (1,644), Brendan Shanahan (1,524), Mark Recchi (1,490), and Rod Brind’Amour (1,404).
“I still feel very good and I continue to keep my body in the best shape possible,” Modano said. “I’m looking forward to relaxing a bit this summer, but continuing to work towards the beginning of next season. I’m excited about returning and playing again.”