Well, those few weeks on the beach were put to good use for Mike Modano.
The Stars' all-time leader in just about everything announced today he will be coming back for next season. Modano is already under contract for next season, so as far as actual transactions, nothing changes.
But it's an important decision for the Stars and for Modano. He will turn 39 on June 7, and he is coming off a year where he looked tired at times. So how can he address that next year?
``I don't think it was just me, I think it was the whole team,'' Modano said. ``I think the injuries forced us into some situations that we wouldn't normally be in, and that's something that I believe will be different next season.''
When asked if Marty Turco being pushed to do too much was a good example, Modano said yes.
``Yeah, I think that's a good one,'' he said. ``You look at that, and that was part of the problem all of last season. You go in with a plan, and all of the injuries changed so much. I think if we can be healthy and we can spread the load around, we'll be a much better team.''
Modano said his optimism about next season is one of the main reasons for his return. Well, his optimism about next season and his depression about last season.
``That's not the way you want to go out,'' he said of a 36-35-11 record that left the Stars out of the playoffs for only the third time in the last 15 seasons. ``I just think we're a better team than what we showed, I think we will be a better team next year.''
Modano's decision also helps the Stars in the salary cap. As a player who signed his contract past the age of 35, Modano's full cap hit of $3.45 million will be counted even if he retires, Modano's actual pay for next season is $2.25 million.
He had 15 goals and 31 assists and was minus-15 in 80 games last season. So is this a good move for the Stars? If the team is healthy, I think Modano can fill an important role. I would like to see other players get more time on the power play, and I think that would happen if the team was more healthy.
What's your take?
-- Mike Heika