Mike Modano is being heavily courted by the Red Wings, and it appears that the talks are heating up. Modano has reportedly had his "best talks" with Detroit, and GM Ken Holland is making a strong push for him. Here's what Modano told ESPN's Richard Durrett on the situation:
"They're selling it pretty hard," Modano said. "Having a team like Detroit really interested in me is flattering. I could have some fun playing with some great players and a great organization. There's a lot of upside to it. But for me, I need to figure out in my head what I want to do."
Holland has made it obvious he wants Modano in Detroit, and it doesn't sound like Modano would mind much if that happens. That of course leaves an even bigger question: what jersey number would the all-time American scoring leader wear?
Modano has worn #9 for his entire NHL career. That number is synonymous with the Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars franchise, but it won't be the case if he comes here. That's because #9 has already been retired by the Red Wings in honor of Gordie Howe---the NHL's second all-time leading scorer. Obviously, a move to Detroit would mean some new threads.
Modano can't add a "1" to #9, at least in front of it. The legendary 19 is also up in Joe Louis Arena's rafters for "The Captain" Steve Yzerman. However, he could go with 91, which was worn for a long time by Sergei Fedorov. Fedorov departed the team rather unpleasantly and there is still some animosity between him and the organization. But, there might be some Red Wings fans that have a problem with it, since Fedorov contributed a lot in his time here.
The easiest way to change his 9 would be to double it to 99, but Wayne Gretzky and the NHL might take issue with that. Gretzky's 99 has been retired league-wide, and rightly so.
Why not just add a number up to 10, like Brett Hull did when he signed on in 2001? Well, Alex Delvecchio is the owner of #10, and is currently residing next Howe and Yzerman's jerseys. Flip the scenario around and subtract a number and you arrive on #8, which Justin Abdelkader currently wears.
Of course, let's use his birthday, June 7! Wait, nevermind, 7 is gone too. Sorry Ted Lindsay. Although, 6/7 could translate into 67.
In all seriousness, if Modano wants to play in Detroit, he's going to have to make some tough decisions, the least of which on his mind is his number change. It's not even certain that Modano is going to play next year, let alone in Detroit.
But it is fun to play with, and there's not much else going on right now.
What number would you like to see Modano wear in Motown? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!