Modano calls it a career
All-time American points leader
|Detroit Red Wings Mike Modano reacts during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Detroit, Michigan October 1, 2010. (REUTERS/Jeffrey Kowalsky)
PHILADELPHIA - Mike Modano, the last NHL relic from the 1980s, announced his retirement Wednesday.
Modano played 21 seasons in the league -- 20 with the Minnesota/Dallas Stars and last season with the Detroit Red Wings.
"After a long summer of thinking about my future, I've come to the decision that it's time to retire as a player from the NHL," Modano wrote on Facebook. "What a great ride it's been!"
A native of Livonia, Mich., Modano spent his first two decades with the Dallas/Minnesota franchise after the club made him the first pick of the 1988 NHL draft. He then went to play for the Red Wings last year.
The 41-year-old had a disappointing season with the Wings. A tendon in his right wrist was severed by a skate Nov. 26 and he ended up playing just 40 regular-season games, getting four goals and seven assists.
Modano is the career scoring leader among U.S.-born players, with 561 goals and 1,374 points. He joined Minnesota in 1989 and helped the Stars win their only Stanley Cup in 1999.
"We thank Mike for giving National Hockey League fans 21 years of thrills with his speed, his skill, his craftsmanship and his class," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Mike also excelled on the international stage, representing the NHL and USA Hockey with great distinction. We congratulate this great representative of the game on an outstanding career and wish him the very best in the future."
Modano, who will hold a news conference Friday in Dallas, told the Detroit Free Press he was emotionally spent after last season.
"After July came and went and there wasn't much happening, I knew I was going to retire," he said.
Modano said he might sign a one-day contract with Dallas so he can retire a Star but expressed no regrets at finishing his playing career in Detroit.
"It was more than I thought it would be," he told the Free Press. "I couldn't pass that up, I would have kicked myself forever if I'd passed up the opportunity to play at home, in front of people I grew up with. It was just unfortunate with the injury -- it was such a drag. That just closed the door on me."
Modano said he'll work some games as an analyst for Fox Sports Southwest and the NHL Network.