Modano announces plans to retire after 21 NHL seasons Staff

9/21/2011 9:46:59 PM

Mike Modano has announced his intention to retire after 21 NHL seasons.

The 41-year-old announced the news via his Facebook account, and said he will have a press conference on Friday to make the decision official.

"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," wrote Modano on Facebook. "There's way too many people to thank here at this time and too much to say, so I have a press conference scheduled for early Friday afternoon. Check back Friday late afternoon for more. What a great ride it's been!"

Modano finishes with 561 goals and 1374 points. He played nearly his entire career with the Minnesota/Dallas franchise after being drafted first overall by the North Stars in 1988. The Michigan native played his final season with the Detroit Red Wings last year, where he was limited to 40 games due to a wrist injury and scored four goals and 11 assists.

"I think I kind of new at the end of the season from Detroit that was probably it," Modano told Cybulski & Company Show on TSN Radio 1050 on Wednesday. "Then July came around and there wasn't much happening there, then that kind of firmed up my thoughts of moving on. "

"It's a battle making that decision," said Modano. "I feel I truly understand former athletes and guys who have come to grips with their career being over, I can understand why they have a hard time with it. It's hard to let go and to quit playing a game and a sport you love playing."

Modano finishes 23rd all-time on the goal-scoring list, 22nd in points, and 14th with 1499 games played. He is the top-scoring American-born player of all time in goals and points.

"I just never thought I would play that long," admitted Modano. "I had seven, eight, nine years kind of written down as my goal when I first started back in the league back in 1988 and that went by in a blink of an eye."

Modano also had 58 goals and 88 assists in 176 career playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.

He was also named to play in seven NHL All-Star games, and captured an Olympic silver medal with Team USA in 2002. His departure from the game means Teemu Selanne is the last active player from the 1988 draft.