Game 4 Could Be Mike Modano's Last Game, And He'll Be On The Sidelines

Mike Modano is one of the best American players to ever lace up hockey skates, but his career could be over as soon as Friday night, should the San Jose Sharks sweep his Detroit Red Wings out of the 2011 NHL playoffs.

If you remember, Modano didn't agree to a contract with the Dallas Stars, the franchise he played for his entire career, a year ago after they decided to move in a different direction. Modano then hesitated over the retirement decision until August, when the Michigan native ultimately returned home on a one-year contract with the Wings.

He hasn't had the easiest season with Detroit, and after sitting as a healthy scratch for all but one of the Wings seven playoff games, it's easy to see him hang up the skates should Friday night be the end of the season for his club.

But will he? As he said just before the postseason, via Mlive.com:

"It's been a frustrating year for me, personally. But it's not over yet. I'm just kind of basing it on the next couple months, and hopefully they're fun and exciting and we have a lot of fun. If we do go deep, I think that's probably it for me."

You wouldn't consider a second round exit a lot of fun, and if that does happen, based on Modano's own logic here, you'd have to think he'd want to return somewhere for another season.

Hell, even if the Wings do make the incredible come back and move on, Modano won't really be a part of it as a healthy scratch, and it's safe to say that's not the way he wants to go out.

Even if tonight is the final game of Mike Modano's career, though, fans of his in Dallas will always view him as one of their own. Via SB Nation's Defending Big D:

Whatever happens we continue to thank Mike and look forward to his return to the Metroplex. The photos in Green and Black outnumber the red and white by a gargantuan amount, after all. Tom Gaglardi's second order of business, after extending Richards, might just be where to put the Modano statue?

I don't care what Mark Cuban thinks. I want it smack dab in the middle of the AT&T Plaza. And "Houston Street"? Really?? How about Mike Modano Street, Dallas City Council?

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