"We were right there in the playoff race, just a point out of eighth," Modano said. "It would have been tough to leave. It just would have been hard. I didn't like the idea of leaving the city and going off to be a loaner for two months or so. There was no guarantee that if I left that the team that got me was going to win anyway."
Nieuwendyk said he didn't negotiate with another team on any specifics, since Modano said he didn't want to leave. Nieuwendyk said he respected Modano's wish to stay with the only organization he's played with since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 1988. Modano said Washington was one of the teams interested.
Nieuwendyk added that the idea of seeing Modano in another uniform would be odd.
"It wouldn't be the first time a guy that played a long time with one team finished with another," Nieuwendyk said. "It would have been strange to see Mike somewhere else. He's been playing 20 years now with this organization. That's why he elected to see this thing through. It's important to be with one franchise to him and I respect that."