The Modano Quandary

Mike Modano's future in hockey has taken a new turn with reported comments in the last week, and created what local sports enthusiasts are calling 'the Modano Quandary' for his lifelong team, the Dallas Stars.

Let me help clarify. There is no 'quandary.' There's options 1a or 1b, which are unfortunately mutually exclusive due to NHL rules but which either one offers some positives going forward; there's option 2 which will be initially disappointing but is Mike's call and will be just fine, down the line; and there is *any other effing thing*, all of which will make the Stars, manager Joe Niuwendyk, coach Mark Crawford, owner Tom Hicks and anyone else associated with it irremediably hated men in North Texas. For life. Figure that on struggling ticket sales, Stars management.

Option 1a is, Mike decides to play for the Stars another year, affording him and his fans a farewell-tour year something like those final two storybook games of last year's otherwise disappointing season.

Option 1b is, Mike becomes part of a new ownership team of the Stars (which has the ancillary enormous benefit of seeing off the horrific blight upon North Texas that is the Hicks Sports Group).

Option 2 is, Mike retires. We who believe (unlike some other sports icons like the often-compared Emmit Smith) that Mike has proven he can still play as a contributing 3rd or 4th line center, will be saddened...but last year ended so magically for him, and us, and we know he will become a future enormous part of the franchise going forward if it ends happily like this, so we can live with it.

Any other option--and we. will. hate. the. Stars. He goes to another team and plays, and some part of our relationship with Mike will be damaged, as well--but Mike won't be paying for it in lost revenue and ticket sales and skate fees at StarCenters and whatever else.

A Stars team minus Modano, and Marty Turco, and maybe Jere Lehtinen, had better win quickly because the remaining other draws are known for their appeal mostly only to we hockey faithful who are coming anyway. They *cannot* afford to actively piss off the fanbase.

Mike wants to play, we want him back. In black, green and gold. Period.

Screw this up at your *enormous* peril, Stars.