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Red Wings forward Mike Modano admits that his body, mind are telling him to retire

As reported this morning, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made the difficult decision to scratch Mike Modano, who has yet to regain his pre-wrist-injury form, for tonight’s game against Phoenix (7 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/Versus/CBC/WXYT). Modano spoke to ESPN Dallas’s Richard Durrett about his decision to retire after the Red Wings’ playoff run ends. I don’t want to sound overly harsh hear, but while Modano’s heart is in the right place, it sounds like he’s never really been able to find his “legs” after starting the season two steps behind the Wings in terms of physical conditioning:

“I’m excited about the playoffs,” Modano said. “I think it’s going to be my last one. I’m definitely trying to get as prepared and as excited as I can possibly be knowing it’s my last real run at something. It’s my last chance.”

The Wings start their playoff run Wednesday at home against the Phoenix Coyotes, but Modano, who turns 41 in June, won’t be on the ice. Reports said Wednesday that he’s a healthy scratch. The forward’s play has been inconsistent since he returned in February from a wrist injury that kept him out for half the season. That’s one reason he’s decided it’s time to step away from the game.

“My body has been telling me and so has my head,” Modano said. “I knew that if the body wasn’t doing things on the ice that I was accustomed to doing, it was time to move on. There are subtle signs that I’ve gotten that it’s only going to get worse. I can’t stay on the ice as long as I used to, things like that.”

Modano, who has four goals and 11 assists in 40 games, said he plans to move back to the Dallas area and figure out what he’ll do with his life. But he’s glad to have another chance to win a Stanley Cup

“I’m glad I came and took a chance at the opportunity,” Modano said. “I don’t think I would have been too happy with myself a couple of years down the line wondering what would have happened. The outcome with missing three months wasn’t what I had in mind. That was a big downer and a big disappointment. But I couldn’t pass up the chance to play one more season.”

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Evilpens's avatar

Unfortunately he should have retired after last season as a Star, No offense to the RW’s but That is my thought

Hell of a Player/Career though

Posted by Evilpens on 04/13/11 at 02:58 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I do feel for the guy but if he has checked out mentally, which it appears he has, then he won’t be an asset to the Wings.  There are too many others (Miller, Eaves, Abby) who are willing to lay it all on the line.  I’m not saying Mikey Mo won’t but his quotes make me question his heart.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 04/13/11 at 03:02 PM ET


Is it just me or does it seem like a bad thing that Modano’s talking about his career retrospective when, you know, he’s got a playoff series he should be thinking about?

Posted by steviesteve on 04/13/11 at 03:03 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Sick of it.  Sorry.

Get me a nine-foot Singapore cane.  I’ll whip his attitude in the right place.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 04/13/11 at 03:06 PM ET


I do feel for the guy but if he has checked out mentally, which it appears he has, then he won’t be an asset to the Wings.  There are too many others (Miller, Eaves, Abby) who are willing to lay it all on the line.  I’m not saying Mikey Mo won’t but his quotes make me question his heart.

Alexei Kovalev’s 38 and all he wants to talk about is the Powerplay and the Stanley Cup. When that guy, of all people, has better focus than Modano it might be time to sit the latter. Surely there’s someone from Grand Rapids who can think about something other than how tired he is of hockey for 10 minutes per night.

Posted by steviesteve on 04/13/11 at 03:16 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I honestly don’t see how Modano plays another game for the Wings after his recent comments.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/13/11 at 03:28 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Then I don’t want him anywhere the Joe, Mandingo.  Stay the fuch home with that hot wife of his and make babies if he’s that so far gone.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 04/13/11 at 03:30 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Seriously, how can you play a guy who has basically said he’s done?

Actually, it’s probably for the best this is happening now.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/13/11 at 03:32 PM ET


I can’t help but agree with everyone here on this. As much as i would have loved to see him give his all during the playoffs I hope that he is a voice in the locker room and nothing else. Great guy but I hate seeing the Miller/Eaves/Draper rotation just to keep him in.

it makes me sick how many times miller has been scratched, then comes in the next game and pots a goal or two. this time of year we need the hearts of Miller, eaves & Draper on the ice and Modano’s in the locker room.

Posted by DeathtotheHawks from Chicago on 04/13/11 at 03:36 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Is this the first time he’s been scratched?  I confess I haven’t noticed.  I have noticed that no center play since the return.  Did Babs have to do it in consideration of everyone else (i.e., If Mo tells the press he feels done, how can I justify to the rest of the team having him in and asking everyone for full effort?)?

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/13/11 at 03:38 PM ET

SYF's avatar

No, I completely agree, Mandingo.  I just can’t stand having a mopey emo waltzing in and out of the Wings dressing room game after game; it brings down the tone in both the dressing room and the press box where the Black Aces sit and watch.

Hell, gimme Tatar, Mursak, and/or Emmerton in the lineup.  Just stay home, Mo.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 04/13/11 at 03:39 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

It’s pretty interesting how Modano is saying this, because I think when he gets the puck on his stick and has any bit of space to skate, he goes from 0 to 100mph in 3 strides…

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 04/13/11 at 05:24 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I thought the timing of all this was truly weird.  To talk about retiring right before the playoffs…  You’d think that, if the guy has a chance at a Cup, he’d be all in to the best of his ability.  But it’s like he invited Babcock to sit him.  Truly weird.  Why didn’t he just go ahead and retire?  Let some of the young guys have a shot.

i don’t know but I’m done thinking about him.

Geezus, isn’t it 7 o’clock YET?

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 04/13/11 at 05:30 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I was OK with bringing him on board to start the season. But at this point, focus or GTFO.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/13/11 at 06:13 PM ET


Wow guys. Way to beat on a Hall of famer. He’s frustrated as he should be. He missed a significant part of the season, and really hasn’t been able to catch up since coming back. You gotta feel for the guy a little bit. When he’s on the ice he seems to give 110%.  I’m a fan of the whole team, and there’s no reason to beat on a guy who’s had some bad luck, in what was probably going to be his final year regardless.

Posted by Stuck in the Soo on 04/13/11 at 06:47 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Modano up in a booth is fantastic news.  The team has been terrible with him on the ice.  I think he has been a drain in the room. 
good riddance.

Posted by w2j2 on 04/13/11 at 07:30 PM ET


Before you bash him too hard Read the whole article-he clearly states that he’s excited about the playoffs and working hard to get prepared…a couple weeks ago he scored the game tieing goal sending the game into overtime, at 40 he still skates with the best, the injury set him back, he will get in and do some good things,it’s his last shot.

Posted by Wilddoug from Dallas on 04/14/11 at 02:47 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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