The Stars are planning on having a press conference at noon at American Airlines Center to make the statement that they will not be offering Mike Modano a contract for next season.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said this morning that he and Modano have had numerous discussions and that he has decided that it is time to move on. He said the team has too many centers already and that Modano would likely be forced to play as a fourth line center on this team, and that doesn't make sense.
``This decision doesn't come easy, but it's something I've been talking to Mike about for quite some time,'' Nieuwendyk said. ``It's a difficult deicison for fans and our entire organization. I fell it's necesary for us to move foward under these trying times. We have young players that I believe have to be put in a postion where they can be successful and unfortunately (for the situation with Modano) the depth of our team is at the center positon.''
``We haven't made the payoffs for two years. We're facing challenges right now that most NHL teams are not facing. It is a challenge. I feel confident about our young players and where they are viewed at in regards to the rest of the NHL. But when you don't make the playoffs for two years and Modano is our fourth line center that gives us good power play time, we have to make decisions. Young players need to be put in positons where we can grow and be successful.''
Nieuwendyk said he understands Modano will want to study fre agency on July 1 and that he hopes Modano is happy with whatever decision he makes.
``I respect that. I've indicated that to him,''Nieuwendyk said. ``Our conversations were relaly good. We talked last night on the phone. If he wants to do that like (Ray) Bourque did in Colorado. I'll support him on that. He knows and everybody knows, if and when he does decide to stop playing, there will be a place for him here.''
Nieuwendyk said he knows fans will be upset, but hopes they understand that the team is in the middle of a sale and has some tough choice to make on a budget and with the direction of the franchise.
``From a fan's perspective, it's going to be tough no matter what,'' Nieuwendyk said. ``Mike has been such an important part of this franchise ever\ since we came to Dallas. It was very diffiult for Cowboys fans to see Emitte Smith move on. But Emmitt Smith is always a Dallas Coboy and Mike Modano will always be a Dallas Star.''
``I said at the draft, Scott Niedermayer was presentiung the first rounder a jersey and I wish Mike Modano was there to present Jack Campbell with a jersey. Next year it's in Minnesota, what a great thing that would be. His association with our organization will always be there.''
Nieuwendyk said that because the team is up for sale, Modano will not be offered a job in the organization at this time and it will be up to the new owner to make that decision.