Two years ago, Mike Modano had the chance to come back to Minnesota and end his career. The season before, he skated the Xcel Energy Center ice in a throw back North Stars sweater, waved to the fans, and cried a little bit. Then he signed a deal with the Detroit Red Wings, got hurt, and was not much of a factor. Then he signed yet another deal with the Red Wings for this last season.
Then he retired.
Now, people are taking comments made by Modano as serious indications that he would come back and play... for the Minnesota Wild. He joked on Twitter that the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signings made him want to play here. Hell, which retired hockey player wouldn't want to do so?
That's not what this is about, though. What is this about? Make the jump.
Last night, Modano told Josh Rimer:
If the Wild contacted me I'd listen to what they would have to say, certainly would be a fitting ending to a career obviously going back to Minnesota and what that town and what the fans meant to me.
Yeah, about that Mike... you had your chance. You went to Detroit. The train left the station on that one. No one begrudges you wanting to go home to Michigan and finish up there, but don't try to sell the home ice thing now.
The likelihood is that he was kidding. For the love of everything holy, just let me believe he was kidding. This makes zero sense from a current talent level, roster spot, or cap and contracts perspective. Modano is his very own Eklund. Make it up, not looking at the reality of the situation.
The real problem? People are getting geeked out about it already:
Stop. Just stop. Take a big, deep breath in, remove yourself from the computer for a few minutes, and slap yourselves across the face.
Current Talent Level
Why do you even want the guy to come back? He has spent the last two seasons on IR, and cost his team over $2 million in the process. This isn't Mike Modano in his prime. This is Mike Modano over 40 and done with his career. Mike Modano the color guy, not the goal scorer.
Put Modano on the third line? Where eaxactly are you then putting Kyle Brodziak? The second line? Then you're putting Matt Cullen where? Third line wing? So that puts Cal Clutterbuck and Torrey Mitchell where?
See where this is going?
The roster is full. 100%, absolutely full. There are even players on two way deals that will be fighting for spots already penciled in with one way deal players. Say, for argument's sake, that you think Modano can beat out one of the NHLers already on the roster. You are taking yet another chance for one of the kids to crack the lineup away.
Which player are you paying to play in the AHL so Modano can take up space on the bench?
Cap and Contracts
This is where the fans lose out to people who are paying attention. CapGeek says the Wild have roughly $1.3 million in cap space. Maybe Modano takes a small contract to come back. Even if it is league minimum, he eats up the last remaining bit of cap flexibility the Wild have. You really willing to give that up for the nostalgia of Modano?
The final piece to the puzzle is that the Wild simply don't have a contract to waste on him. Russo says they are at 49 contracts. They only get 50. You want the last contract to go to Modano? Can I ask why? So he can sell a couple sweaters at the Hockey Lodge?
It's time to let the wet dream of Mike Modano in a Wild sweater go. He had his chance, and he passed. That should piss you off, not leave you pulling on his tshirt begging him to come back and handcuff the Wild for the season, dispalce someone who can actually still play, further bury the kids in the system, and cost the Wild a massive amount of money for zero production in maybe 40 games.
Just stop it.