Mike Modano said he really hasn't changed things as far as preparation for the season goes.
He said he likes to keep his routine, and he's only just now starting to ramp up for training camp, even though he will start Orientation Camp for the U.S. Olympic Team Monday in the Chicago area.
``It's really not that different than the past,'' he said. ``Obviously, with orientation camp, that will push me forward. But I'm working into this slowly, like I always do.''
Modano said, however, that he expects the dangling carrot of one last chance at the Olympics to play a huge role in the first half of the season. He said it's simply human nature.
``I imagine a lot of people will be thinking about it. I don't know how you wouldn't,'' Modano said of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver in February. ``You may have made the cut right now (for the orientation camp), but you know they are going to be watching you for the next couple of months, and they'll make their decisions based off of that. You obviously are always going to try to do your best, but this is just one more little reminder that if you had a good game or a bad game, it makes a difference.''
The Orientation camps should host about 34 players. Teams will carry 23 players on their roster for the Olympics and will have until Dec. 31 to name the roster.
Modano is the only Stars player invited to Team USA's camp. Brenden Morrow and Stephane Robidas have been invited to Team Canada's orientation camp in Calgary Aug. 24-27. Sweden has Stars players Loui Eriksson, Fabian Brunnstrom and Nicklas Grossman, as well as former Stars player Joel Lundqvist on its short list. Finland is likely to take Jere Lehtinen, as well as former Stars Niklas Hagman, Jussi Jokinen, Antti Miettinen and Niko Kapanen. Russia could provide Sergei Zubov's return to Olympic play.
Team's USA's Orientation Camp will last Aug. 17-19 at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodbridge, Ill. Modano is expected to battle with Paul Stastny, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez and Tim Connolly for one of the center spots. He said it will be interesting to see if the team wants his experience or would rather go with all youth.
``I think there is definitely something to the theory that you can go in there with no experience and no expectations, that you are so naïve that you really don't recognize how big a deal it is, and that can be a good thing,'' he said. ``But I also think that having some experience, having some understanding of what to expect, can also be a good thing.''
Modano, 39, said he hasn't discounted playing NHL hockey beyond this season, but that he definitely believes this will be his last chance to wear Team USA colors as a player.
``That does make it special,'' he said. ``But, like I said before, I really do want to treat this just like I have every other one. I want to keep my routine.''