Stars Forward Mike Modano was in studio the other day, and the fireworks flew as we talked to him about his future with the Stars, or lack thereof. The single most important decision the Stars make this summer is what they do with Modano. From my conversations with the team, they have been clear that:
1) They want him back.
2) They want him back at the right price for the right term.
That second part is where the two sides are apparently stuck. Modano thinks he has 4-5 years left in this league, and while the Stars don’t disagree, they are not willing to gamble on it. They have offered two years, and remain firm on this, citing his last season’s numbers, and the obvious declining skills of the average player at the age of 35.
Mike seems to believe he has earned 3-4 years, and appears willing to accept it from any city that might offer it to him. With his much publicized financial issues, he knows this is his last chance at security, and cannot afford a hometown discount where he holds most of the risk (example: a series of 1 year deals like Steve Yzerman in Detroit).
So, now both sides wait. Modano waits to find out what the market will offer, and the Stars wait to see if his offer comes down.
I cannot swear that either side is right. Modano is not near the peak of his career. He has played a lot of hockey, and while he may have plenty left, perhaps not enough to spend the lion’s share of your money on. If you marry yourself to him, you may marry yourself to years of wishing you hadn’t. On the other hand, when you see him play right now, he still looks like the best player on the ice.
But I do know this. You would have a hard time finding someone more important to a franchise than Modano. He has been with them since 1988, and helped sell hockey to this city. He also is far and away the most recognizable player on a team trying to resell itself to the area after the lockout. He is the face of the franchise. He is the Stars version of Ripken, Banks, Favre, Yzerman, and Elway. He brought a championship here, and will be a no-brain Hall of Famer.
I think the Stars Must sign him. But, here is a sampling of your thoughts:
Listening to him talks reminds me eerily of the Steve Nash situation. This will be letting another beloved area star who might burn us but it might be better off in the long run. I think he's got it and I love guerin but if I have to make the choice give me MO.
Mike in Irving
When I was 13 I went to a Dallas Stars Hockey camp with Mike Modano/Shane Churla as guest coaches. From that moment on I considered Mike Modano my Troy Aikman of the Dallas Stars. Sould he leave, this city will be lesser. Sad day indeed. Think you guys feel the same way.
There is no way the Stars can afford not to sign Modano. He is the face of the Stars and is really the last of the favorites from the Stanley Cup team. I think we all took it when they traded away some of our favorite players for different reasons and assembled the uninspired team they have now, but I really don't think I could take it if they let Mike go over money or bad feelings. I have been waiting for the day that this mess would get sorted out and we could get back to hockey and have really been excited these last few days, but without Mike I don't know that it will be the same.
Did that sound gay?
I TOTALLY disagree with your stance. The Cowboys showed that same loyalty to Emmitt Smith, and where did that get them? Salary Cap trouble and ancient legs and body. This is the SAME thing. Give him 2 years, no more. Anything more than that is foolish from a WINNING perspective. We want to win, not say, "Wow Mike, we really appreciate what you did for
us years ago. Here's compensation for that, even though it will hinder our salary cap for the next three, four years and keep us from bringing up the next franchise player. Come on, if this were the Cowboys, you'd be screaming at them. You both were against the Cowboys keeping Emmitt,
right? Why keep Mike? He's 35 guys. That's my humble opinion.
First, the obligatory, I love you guys.
BUT, I know why some people hate the media. You guys rip and rip on the owners for not being smart enough to not sign guys to big contracts, and they need to spend more money to bring in big time players to win...
Then with Mike you talk about the franchise owes him some loyalty, they should sign him to a long-term deal...
It is easy to play both sides. One day we live by the credo "It's better to get rid of a player a year to early than a year too late." The next day it's this team owes the player for past service and work. But the moment that a star player (Aikman) starts the decline it's rip them and rip the team for still having him around.
I don't hate the media, I just laugh at the quick switching of hats allmedia guys get to do. It's just like the year before Chan Ho was free all Norm could talk about was he was coming free and what a good signing he would be. Then once he was signed Norm rips it apart. I just get confused. Should teams sign free agents, cut players, build for the future, or reward players for past service?
Thanks for all of your notes. To the last two who point out inconsistency in my views on aging Cowboys and aging Modano, here is my response:
I think I might have been wrong. Its really easy to say that you shouldn’t be loyal to someone else’s beloved heroes from their championship teams. But when it is your team that you enjoyed, you feel like they have earned the right to go out on his terms. I really am not sure there is a right answer. Ripken left when he wanted, and it may have hurt the Orioles franchise for a few years. Meanwhile, the 49ers got rid of Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, and at least in the case of Rice, they have not been competitive since. I guess each case is different, but looking back, Troy Aikman should not have finished a Chargers back-up, nor Emmitt a Cardinal. Do you let them play as long as you want? Probably not, but we also should not be in a rush to get rid of them.
Anyway, to you Aikman fans who were so annoyed by my views back in 1999 and 2000, I do want to concede that looking back, I have pondered how insensitive it must have sounded to those who watched Troy as a rookie and every down he ever played. I might like to have that to do over again.
Here is one more piece of email about a caller to the show who gave the obligatory, “players are greedy and I would play for free” rant:
With regard to a hockey caller today; I get extremely tired of hearing how "I would love to play football/hockey/whatever for money, but I have to go to work at a real job". Most of the callers who make this statement, could not even make it through a standard high school football - summer workout. You would not like to get tackled by a professional football player, or checked by a professional hockey player for a living. Furthermore, I suggest that you wouldn't do it for an entire season, even for millions of dollars. Let's not belittle the hard work that professional athletes have put in their entire lives to acheive the level of mastry that they have in their respective sports, by suggesting that you could leave your air conditioned desk to play their sport for millions of dollars.
Deion’s new son …
In response to yesterday’s Horns fans making fun of Aggies, I was asked to post this picture by an Aggie:
Can’t we just all be friends?
Sports Impersonator strikes again …
Mac Engle with a fine article on the current state of the Stars …Including this most disturbing quote from Mr. Hicks:
“Use the [Texas] Rangers as an analogy," Stars and Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. "We want to build with a core of solid, young players and still mix in free agents to make it a better team."
I told you! I freaking told you that he was going to strip the Stars down to nothing just like he did to the Rangers!!!!! What he said there makes sense, unless you translate it to mean what Hicks means. Then the quote looks more like this:
“Like the Rangers, I plan on turning a profit,” Stars and Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. “We want to build with a core of cheap young players and still mix in cheap free agents who have one year contracts to make it a cheaper team.”
And people sometimes call me a cynic.
This is very cool: The current contract situations for every team in hockey …At least I think it is cool. And, on Bob’s Blog, that really counts for quite a bit. Here is the team with the least to worry about, but the most work to do:
Patrice Bergeron $825,000 $627,000
Tom Fitzgerald $625,000 $475,000
Ian Moran $600,000 $456,000
3 players $1,558,000
That’s right, kids. Boston has 3 players signed at 1.5 million dollars. How are they every going to sort that mess out. And people called Boston cheap…