DETROIT -- Mike Modano hopes he has three months of hockey left in his career.
The longtime Dallas Stars forward, who joined the Red Wings this season, said Tuesday that his body is telling him it's time to get out of the game as a player and that he plans on retiring after Detroit completes its playoff journey.
"I'm excited about the playoffs," Modano said. "I think it's going to be my last one. I'm definitely trying to get as prepared and as excited as I can possibly be knowing it's my last real run at something. It's my last chance."
The Red Wings start their playoff run Wednesday at home against the Phoenix Coyotes, but Modano, who turns 41 in June, won't be on the ice.
Reports Wednesday said that he's a healthy scratch. He has been inconsistent since he returned in February from a wrist injury that kept him out for half of the season.
That's one reason he's decided it's time to step away from the game.
"My body has been telling me and so has my head," Modano said. "I knew that if the body wasn't doing things on the ice that I was accustomed to doing, it was time to move on. There are subtle signs that I've gotten that it's only going to get worse. I can't stay on the ice as long as I used to, things like that."
Modano, who has four goals and 11 assists in 40 games, said he plans to move back to the Dallas area and figure out what he'll do with his life. But he's glad to have another chance to win a Stanley Cup
"I don't think I would have been too happy with myself a couple of years down the line wondering what would have happened," he said. "The outcome with missing three months wasn't what I had in mind. That was a big downer and a big disappointment. But I couldn't pass up the chance to play one more season."
Richard Durrett is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.