Mike Modano recently announced that he would, after all, return to the Dallas Stars for their 2009-2010 campaign. Paramount in his decision it seems, was the injury-ridden disappointment that was last season and, more importantly probably, the thought that next year, Dallas will contend for the Stanley Cup.
This was a popular thought at the outset of the season, before the injury bug turned into a locust and tore through the Dallas dressing room with no prejudice.
But Modano’s zest for hockey doesn’t stop at the Stanley Cup or anywhere else in the NHL
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Speaking on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada radio show on Wednesday, Modano cited the 2010 Winter Olympics, set to take place in Vancouver as another factor in his decision.
"Obviously the Olympics is such a great stage” Modano said. “The hockey is amazing and being a part of the past three was a lot of fun. I enjoy playing the type of hockey that is played there. That had a little bit to do with it.”
If Modano makes the cut for Team USA
, it will be his fourth Olympics. However, this is a more substantial ‘if’ than it has been in the past.
Team USA has cited, tirelessly, the need for a changing of the guard of sorts.
General manager Brian Burke
has said that he will not close the window on anyone due to age, but such mainstays as Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin will have to earn their spot on the squad.
This may be a good thing for the Stars; Modano has said that the competitive nature of the team’s selection will be another motivating force in his preparation.
"It gives me a little motivation to come into the season to work out and get ready and see if I can make it a little difficult for Brian Burke and [Team USA coach] Ron Wilson to select their team."
Modano’s interview, during which he discusses the Olympics, his decision to return and the struggles of last season can be read here