Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/25/05 at 09:48 AM ET
"My gut feeling is, yeah, if it comes down to it somehow, someway, you can get creative to keep me around here for another three or four years. I don't think it's that difficult," Modano said. "If the money situation is not that big of a difference [to another offer], yeah, I'll stay. If it's big-time, then you are making a hard decision." Although the 35-year-old Modano prefers a four- to five-year deal, his hinting at three years leaves a middle ground. Modano said he expects his agent, Brian Lawton, to speak with Stars general manager Doug Armstrong by the middle of the week, and again at the NHL Draft on Saturday. Modano can become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 1. Club sources said the Stars gently floated a two-year offer. Modano, who made $9 million in 2003-04, will probably be offered a salary between $4 million to $5 million to start, but the salary could de-escalate after the first season. There was remote hope Modano would go for a one-year offer loaded with incentives. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players 35 and older qualify for one-year agreements loaded with performance bonuses. "I don't know a lot of guys would do that," Modano said. "Someone is going to throw out a four-year deal. Three or four teams could."
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