Dallas Stars

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At the age of 40, after playing 1,459 games and amassing 1,359 points from his first regular season game in 1989 to his last game as a Star this past spring, Mike Modano will be hitting the Dallas ice as a Detroit Red Wing on Thursday night. It’s strange enough seeing him wear the red and white winged wheel against other teams, but now he’ll be doing it against the Stars and infront of what should be a packed house at the AAC. It’s sure to be a very strange, emotional night for everyone.  

Here’s a look at some other great players who made their return home in another uniform after making themselves synonymous with  one team going back to Mike Modano’s draft year of 1988. Only one of them played more games for his team than Modano has with the Stars.

-Wayne Gretzky – Edmonton Oilers from 1978 ( WHA ) to 1988. Played 696 games with the Oilers and racked up 1,669 points. Made his return to Edmonton as a Los Angeles King at the age of 27 on October 19th, 1988. He recorded two assists but ended up -2 in a 8-6 loss.

-Guy Lafleur – Montreal Canadiens from 1971 to 1985. In 961 games with the Habs he managed 1,246 points. At the age of 37, he made his return to Montreal as a New York Ranger after a three year retirement on February 4th, 1989. Scored two goals and added an assist and was a +3 in a 7-5 loss.

-Larry Robinson – Montreal Canadiens from 1972 to 1989. 1,202 games played with the Habs and 883 points. Returned to Montreal with the Los Angeles Kings at the age of 37 on December 11th, 1989. He managed no points and broke even in a 2-2 tie.

-Peter Stastny – Quebec Nordiques from 1980 to 1990. Recorded 1,048 points in 737 games with the Nordiques. Returned to Quebec as a New Jersey Devil at the age of 34 on December 22nd, 1990. Scored a goal and added an assist and was +2 in a 4-1 win.

-Bryan Trottier – New York Islanders from 1975 to 1990. Played 1,123 games with the Islanders racking up 1,353 points. Returned to Long Island with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the age of 34 on October 13th, 1990. Tallied one assist and went -1 in a 6-4 win.

-Dale Hawerchuk – Winnipeg Jets from 1981 to 1990. 929 points in 713 games with the Jets. Returned to Winnipeg as a Buffalo Sabre at the age of 27. Failed to record a point and went even in a 2-0 win.

-Ron Francis – Hartford Whalers from 1981 to 1991. Played 714 games with the Whalers recording 821 points. Returned to Hartford as a Pittsburgh Penguin on March 9th, 1991 eight days after turning 28 and just five days after being dealt. Added an assist but ended up -1 in a 5-2 win.

-Mark Messier – Edmonton Oilers from 1979 to 1991. Totalled 1,034 points in 851 games as an Oiler. Returned to Edmonton as a New York Ranger five days after his 31st birthday on January 23rd, 1992. Scored a goal and added an assist and was +1 in a 3-1 win.

-Al Macinnis – 1982 to 1994. Played 803 games as a Flame tallying 822 points. Made his return to Cowtown as a St.Louis Blue at the age of 31 on January 24th, 1995. He scored a goal and added an assist but went -3 in a 6-4 loss.

-Patrick Roy – Montreal Canadiens from 1985 to 1995. Finished with a  289-175-66 record with the Habs. Returned to Montreal as a member of the Colorado Avalanche on March 5th 1997 at the age of 30. Stopped 34 of 37 shots in a 7-3 win.

-Ray Bourque – Boston Bruins from 1979 to 2000. Totalled 1,506 points in 1,518 games with the Bruins. Returned to Boston March 24th, 2001 at the age of 40 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Tallied 2 assists and was +1 in a 4-2 win.

-Jaromir Jagr – Pittsburgh Penguins from 1990 to 2000. Playing 806 games for the Penguins he totalled 1,079 points. Returned to Pittsburgh as a Washington Capital on December 21st, 2001 at the age of 29. Managed just one assist and went -2 in a 4-3 loss.

-Eric Lindros- Philadelphia Flyers from 1992 to 2000. Played 487 games with the Flyers racking up 659 points. Made his return to Philadelphia as a New York Ranger on January 12th, 2002 at the age of 28. No points and went even in a 4-2 loss.

-Brian Leetch – New York Rangers from 1987 to 2004. Played 1,072 games with the Rangers recording 945 points. Made his return to The Big Apple as a Boston Bruin on March 20th, 2006 at the age of 38. Failed to record a point and went -2 in a 5-2 loss.

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Im your typical sports fan. Just a little more crazy about it. I live and die for my teams and I drive my girlfriend nuts. I consider myself the world's biggest Stars fan. Ive been a fan since I was a young kid going back to the mid 80's. Favourite Stars player of all-time is of course Mike Modano. Favourite non-Stars player of all-time is Peter Stastny. I love talking sports so please leave a reply to anything you agree or disagree with. If youd like to contact me my email is traviscurrie@yahoo.ca

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In response to “MODANO’S RETURN”

  1. karindc Oct 13 20101:55 pm


    Well done again Travis. Tomorrow night is going to be a very weird one. I’ll never boo Modano but I also won’t be cheering for the Redwings. NOT IN THIS LIFETIME!

    Planning to wear my EFF THE WINGS shirt and will probably tie one of my Modano jersey at my waist, just to show I love the player.

    I’m excited that it’s hockey season again but man, this game may leave me wanting to bang my head on something.

    1. Travis Currie Oct 13 201010:40 pm


      Thanks Karin. I really wish I could be there. What a first Stars game in Dallas that would be for me. Who woulda thunk it. Modano VS the Stars. It just doesnt feel right and never will.

  2. Jim Mulligan Oct 13 20103:25 pm


    I was at the Bourque game as a fan. The final 30 seconds of the game, someone in the crowd just started chanting “Ray (pause) Ray (pause) Ray” and before you knew it the whole building was chanting it too. The final 10 seconds, the ice was his. The B’s sat back in their zone and the Aves for the most part did the same. Bourque had blueline to blueline all to himself.

    If you’re going – enjoy the moment

    1. Travis Currie Oct 13 201010:45 pm


      Thanks for reading and for commenting Jim. What an experience that must have been. Thank you for sharing. The only time I ever got to see Bourque live was when my dad took my big brother and I to the afternoon practice when the All-Star Game was in Edmonton in 1989. I never thought of stuff like that but when you see guys like Bourque retire, you really wish you would have taken more advantage of seeing them play and being in their presence.

      So of course by going to the All-Star practice in Edmonton, I live just by Edmonton so Dallas games ar only twice a year for me. Wish I could be there for tomorrow night’s game for sure. Definitely one to witness.

  3. Christopher Rowe Oct 13 20105:11 pm


    Nice work! I was also there in 1994 when Gretsky Messier toured the league en route to their eventual Stanley Cup championship. Nearly every city they visited was happy to see both men return as champions, playing together, etc. Also the New York fans were very tolerant when these two legends played vs. their old teams at MSG and usually offered a ceremony or a standing O or a tribute! Quite a sight to see really!

    1. Travis Currie Oct 13 201010:47 pm


      Thanks Christopher. Mess and Gretz defiitely made impressions on the New York fans. Especially Messier. To Captain them to their first Cup in 40 years, they’re forever greatful. Especially since it may be another 40 for them by the looks of things.

  4. Laney Oct 13 20109:10 pm


    Very well written as always. I watched the farewell game last night. And got misty eyed, the one from last year when Mo got the huge ovation. I am so torn, because as much as I have loved loving Mike, I have also loved hating the Wings. I will be there, and when I fail to see Mo skate out of that big star I am sure my eyes will start to tear up. Seeing him skate out always gave me chill bumps. Now I wonder if I will get chill bumps from NOT seeing him. I think I will be a BIG Stars fan again, when Mo does retire, but what was done to him my hero team would never do to my hockey idol. Loved seeing his first game as a Wing, oh yeah he still has it!!!

    1. Travis Currie Oct 13 201010:50 pm


      Thanks Laney. Good to hear from you. I havnt watched the highlights from that game since summer. But I promise you I still got misty eyed. Probably still would right now, and probably forever. I have a feeling you may be focused more on where Modano is coming out of than the big Star. Don’t blame ya. Take advantage if you’re lucky enough to be there. I’m definitely gonna be cheering for the Stars, but I’ll still hope for Modano to do well, no matter where he is. I have a sour taste in my mouth from what happened over the summer and I probably always will. But hopefully the team can start winning and we can all start to let that help the healing a little.

  5. Rick Oct 14 20109:38 am


    Great homework done on this, Travis.

    That being said, I hope you can edit your article to add Modano’s 1 goal, 1 (PP) assist and +1 after tonight’s game.


    - HornzOverHalos :-D

    1. Travis Currie Oct 14 201010:56 am


      Ha ha. Hey Rick ! Great to hear from you on here. Homework ? Are you suggesting this isn’t all off the top of my head ? Just kidding of course. Thanks

      Hey I’m hoping for a 5-2 Stars win with Mikey scoring both Wings goals. Really hoping he does well this season anyways. I just want him to add to his career totals to give me more bragging rights on how great he is. And I don’t want his switching uniforms to be for nothing. If he can hoist the Cup again, as much as I never could have imagined that it would be with another team, then I would be happy for him.

      Thanks for commenting Rick. First boardie to do so !

  6. Donna Korth Oct 14 201012:09 pm


    I’ll be there hoping Mo scores and says in your face Joe & Crow. At least he is playing this year unlike Crow giving him a few minutes last year. He could have been a great mentor this year instead he is wearing red and white with a team we all hate. Hope he gets another Lord Stanley and has a great year. Love the Stars but this was inexcusible.

    1. Travis Currie Oct 27 201011:44 pm


      I’ll never forgive Nieuwendyk for this no mattter what happens. Modano wasn’t gonna bring us another Cup, and him being gone doesn’t mean we’re a worse team, but it’s the fact that he could have had his last hurrah and finish a Star and only a Star. Thats something that doesnt happen very often anymore and it would have been special.

  7. byebyemodano Oct 27 20105:32 pm


    Yeah what a great idea to not retire. 1 goal in 7 games. +/- of -6. What did you predict 30 – 40 points? He is a waste of a roster spot for one of their prospects. Players 38 and over this year with better stats:

    Nik Lidstrom
    Ray Whitney
    Craig Conroy
    Teemu Selanne
    Mark Recchi
    Andrew Burnette (turns 38 this year)
    John Madden (turns 38 this year)

    Comes back for another year, is a complete non-factor to his team. Could’ve retired a Star but now his “legacy” will end rather pathetically

    1. Travis Currie Oct 27 201011:50 pm


      The Stanley Cup final will be Nashville vs Montreal, the Leafs will finish in the top half of the Eastern Conference, and John Michael Liles will finish the season with 0 goals and 100 assists. You know, since the season is only one month long. Glad we can come to these conclusions so early rather than playing the entire season out. Phew. Saves us all alot of time, doesn’t it.

  8. byebyemodano Oct 28 201012:11 pm


    If you honestly think Modano will pick it up enough the rest of the season to become a factor for the Wings, you are looking through rose colored glasses my friend. Sure it’s only a month in but Modano hasn’t even shown flashes that he can be useful this season. Where as Toronto has cooled off since their hot start, Nashville has been playing really well (especially Rinne) actually and will likely make the playoffs, and Montreal’s fate is in the hands of Price who has been excellent so far. I understand a lot can happen between now and April, but Modano has looked very slow, completely over-matched night in and night out with poor defensive coverage. One of Detroit’s lower-end prospects couldn’t do any worse in the same role.

    1. Travis Currie Oct 28 20101:12 pm


      I give ou credit. Atleast this reply isn’t full of sarcasm and ridicule. And you bring up some valid points. Im the world’s biggest Modano fan so Im sure I do look thorugh rose colored glasses to a point, which any fan does with their favourite player/team. I realistically do think he will pick it up though. Not for an entire season. Thats what makes it harder for a player his age to play. Its the consistency and the long haul over 82 games. It’s not that they dont have it in them to come up with some really good games. Dan Cleary says Modano is very determined and that’s what I feel is important. His season will likely be somewhat streaky as it has been the past few seasons with the Stars. He’s obviously not as tough to play against as he once was. But we’ll have to watch what unfolds over the entire season. Playoffs will tell alot of the story aswell. I would rather he finished off with the Stars of course. Its sacreligious to see him in another uni. But I respect his decision to give er another try. No matter what happens He’s earned that.

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