If you believe the well-founded gossip, it’s looking like Mike Modano’s career – either with the Stars or in the NHL – is about to end. Some have discussed the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of fanfare about his departure from the league, but I’d point to his healthy career (and middling recent years) and a mediocre season for Dallas as the main reasons why he might go out with a bit of a whimper.
That doesn’t change the fact that there are still some compelling retrospectives regarding the face of Stars hockey. Defending Big D gathers some of the best stories about Modano in this fantastic post. My favorite excerpt is from Dallas sports radio personality Bob Sturm.
As I have said a dozen times, Mike Modano was perfect for a city like Dallas. Maybe there were better players, but there wasn’t anyone more perfect for selling Texas on this game.
He was American. He was good looking (so they tell me). He was the best player on the ice – even if you were watching your first hockey game, you could tell he was the best player and surely the most electrifying.
Think about it. We all feel like Dallas is the exception to the rule when it comes to the NHL in the sun belt. In many of the cities, it has only been an unqualified success in years where those teams win the Stanley Cup. But in Dallas, the Stars have generally been well supported and followed. I submit to you that is a result of the instant magnetic force that Mike Modano and some of his friends had on the city.
Be sure to check out that roundup of great stories. Also, in the spirit of draft debates, I wrote a quick blurb for Battle of California about the Minnesota North Stars’ decision to draft Mike Modano over Trevor Linden many moons ago.
I’m sure Brandon (formerly of the aforementioned Defending Big D) will have plenty more Modano talk going forward.