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Modano can't own team and play

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun has in an item in his notes column about the fact that Mike Modano can't own part of the team and play at the same time. Here's part of LeBrun's story:

Future Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Modano has not yet decided on his playing future.

"Not yet," Modano, 39, told ESPN.com via text message Saturday. "I think I'm gonna wait until after the free-agent market opens, see what happens there, and also with the ownership idea."

Ah, yes ... the ownership idea. Modano is part of a prospective ownership group, along with former Stars president Jim Lites and local businessman Billy Quinn, one of the managing partners of Natural Gas Partners. Lites and Quinn already met with Bettman, Modano told ESPN.com.

Of course, Modano can't return to the ice if he's a part-owner. So should he decide to return to play another season and his group does indeed end up being the winning party to buy the team from Tom Hicks, he'd likely have to delay any official ownership stake until after he retires.

"Exactly," texted Modano.

Another important factor to remember is there are other interested suitors for the Stars, including Calgary oil magnate Bill Gallacher.