Modano apologizes for criticism of Team USA

Updated: February 24, 2006, 7:59 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano has apologized for the tone of recent criticisms of USA Hockey, saying the "timing was bad" and that he wants to help the organization in the future.

Mike Modano
Modano

Modano blasted coaches and administrators after the United States lost to Finland 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the Torino Olympics and finished 1-4-1.

Benched in the third period against Finland, Modano slammed administrators for not taking care of "distractions," such as travel arrangements, and said the organization needed "new blood."

Modano didn't back off his criticisms in a Thursday interview with The Dallas Morning News, but he said he wanted to be more proactive and constructive in his approach to USA Hockey.

"I've been a part of this program for 20 years, and it means a lot to me," the three-time Olympian told the newspaper. "I don't want to leave it like this."

Modano said he was upset about being benched and let his emotions do the talking.

"I think the timing was bad," he said.

Modano also said he was angry because he figured it was his last game for Team USA. That feeling turned more to sadness a day later, he said. If he plays in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Modano would be almost 40.

"It's not at all how I would want to go out, and that probably affected me as much as anything," he said. "It's tough to look back and think it might be over."

Modano was out of town and unavailable for comment Friday, a Stars spokesman said.

The Stars practiced Friday, but Modano isn't expected to be back with the team until Tuesday, the day the rest of the team's Olympians are scheduled to return. The Stars resume play Thursday night at Phoenix.

Jere Lehtinen, Niko Kapanen, Jussi Jokinen and Niklas Hagman will play for Finland in Sunday's gold-medal game against Sweden.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press