The night we hoped would never come will finally be here. It is almost as if the league office had a smirk when this one came out.
Of all the years to open with the Red Wings in the Dallas barn, they choose the year in which the most hallowed name in Stars' history is wearing the unthinkable Red Wing on his chest.
Wow. Of all of the tough things to stomach.
Now, I could offer you my take on the situation (this is for the best for all parties involved) but the beauty of this Mike Modano issue is that like politics, religion, and a few other touchy topics, you have already made up your mind. If you wish Mike was playing in a Stars sweater right now, then you did not arrive there lightly - you are not about to let me change your mind - and I can appreciate your viewpoint.
But, he will likely be rejuvenated with a veteran team that is ready to win right now. I think this is best for Mike Modano to dig a little deeper in a new situation for a short time. The Stars may be better than we think they are, but they are starting a project that will take some time, and when you are Mike's age, you don't have time to start back at the bottom.
I love the guy. I want his "9" to be in the rafters as soon as possible. I want him back in the organization. But, I also want GM Joe Nieuwendyk to build this team in the way he see's fit. If that means more youthful energy and less of the old guard who were set in their ways, then I don't want to complicate his job. He has limited funds and 20 spots every night. I cannot ask him to build this team as quick as possible and then say you have to do it under certain conditions for guys from the last era. Even THE guy.
Let's just leave it at this: He is and will be the face of the Stars' franchise for a long, long time. But, Father time doesn't wait for any man. Roger Staubach and Nolan Ryan came to the end at one point no matter how immortal we hoped they were. I wish it was always 1999, but it is now 11 seasons later. It was awesome. But, it ended. Some ended their runs in 2000. Some a few years later. And then there is Mike, still skating in 2010-11.
I wish it didn't have to be this way. And, maybe it didn't. But, remember - Dallas Stars Hockey is about the crest on the front of the jersey. Not the nameplate on the back. We have our favorites, but the only agenda that should really consume us is how this organization can get back to being feared across the league. With that being the case, I need all priorities directed to that end.
There will never be another Mike Modano. And regardless of what shirt he wears Thursday, I think we all know where he will always belong. Those guys are borrowing him for a drop in the bucket. Sometimes, sports can really get complicated.
But, like I said, I think this is how it had to be.
Email Bob at Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan
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