Here's a goofy idea: I would love to see Mike Modano play for another team next season.
If _ and this is a big if _ if Modano was happy.
He wasn't last season. He didn't have a real place on the Stars. The team didn't play well. His ability to fight through frustration had worn down. That happens when you get older and have put up with a lot in your career. It's hard to battle through the tough times.
But if you get a fresh start, a change of pace, a new challenge, your resolve becomes stronger.
I believe that will happen if Modano finds the right fit in free agency. I think it would be scary for him at first, but I also think he's a good guy who wants to win and who would eventually blend into a new team. He can't be a leader on that team, but he can be a really nice complementary piece.
When Modano was hurt last season, I wanted to go out and talk to him, so I visited the rink in Frisco when he was the only guy on the ice. He had to hold his arm to his side the entire time, and yet he flew around the ice like he was skating in full stride. He is such a natural skater _ such a natural athlete, really _ that I know he can still play. He just has that aura about him.
But he has to want to, he has to be mentally engaged, and a move to a new team might do that.
He does want to play, I think, but he wanted the safe way out by playing for the Stars again. It would complete his dream of playing his entire career for one team. But would Modano have been happy on the Stars next season? Would he have been happy on a team where he doesn't seem to be a good fit? Would he have grown frustrated with what could be a losing season and maybe taken an offer of a trade at the trade deadline this time? Would that have been an even more uncomfortable departure? It could have gone either way, I guess, but I personally don't think he would have had a good season.
But if he finds the right fit, if he finds a team that can use his skills, that can put him in the right place, I think he would be happy...and I think he would grow as a person.
I'm sure Angels fans have a hard time seeing Vlad Guerrero playing like he is for the Rangers, but if you're a Vlad fan, how can you not be happy for him? How could you not be happy for Ray Bourque when he won the Cup in Colorado? Sometimes a fresh start is a good thing for a player. His patience increases, his eyes open a little more to a different way of doing things.
I hope that happens for Modano. I hope he has a Vlad-like season next year. I hope like heck he has a great time and enjoys himself, because it would make me smile to see him smile.