Modano, like Young, thought he’d finish his career in Dallas, playing hockey for the only organization he’d known. But circumstances didn’t allow that to happen. The Stars had younger players who needed ice time and they wanted to shove them into bigger roles. Sound familiar?
“That was frustrating,” Modano said. “You hope they’d make an exception for you and keep you around even though you have younger players. But only a few can say they start their career and finish their career in the same place.”
Young won’t be on that list as he heads to Philadelphia, hoping he can bounce back from a rough year. Modano ended up in Detroit and was slowed by injuries. He retired after that final season away from Dallas and remains in the area.
Modano, of course, was with the Stars organization for a longer period than Young’s 12 years. But like Young, he lived through tough times when the club first moved to Dallas and then the good times. Modano won a Stanley Cup in 1999. Young was a strike away -- twice -- in Game 6 of the World Series in 2011, but he and his teammates weren’t quite able to win that title.
“There’s going to be tons of motivation there,” Modano said of Young. “He’ll work hard and want to have a great start for the season. More times than not, that happens. A guy leaves and can have a good last few good years and he can prove others wrong that he’s still got something left. He’s still young enough to play at a high level. I can’t see it not happening. He’s going to be playing with a little chip on his shoulder and that can’t hurt.”