This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
1. Mike Modano — 1,586 Votes
2. Brett Hull — 254 Votes
3. Ed Belfour — 130 Votes
This one wasn’t even close and it’s not hard to see why. While Hull had a fantastic career and was part of the Stars’ 1999 Stanley Cup championship, he was only with the team for three seasons. Modano on the other hand spent almost his entire career with the Minnesota/Dallas franchise, with the sole exception being his final campaign with the Red Wings in 2010-11.
For years Modano was the face of the franchise and played a key role in putting hockey on the map in Texas after the Minnesota North Stars moved.
He’s also the clear franchise leader in most major offensive statistics and remains the only player in the Stars’ history to play in at least 1,000 games, score a minimum of 500 goals, or record 1,000 or more points. He surpassed those milestones without ever being the best player in the league — he never finished higher than eighth in points for a single season — but he was consistently great and his overall contributions were recognized when he was recently voted into the Hall of Fame.
Dallas has gone through a rough patch, but last season they showed signs of turning things around and there’s far more optimism now than there was even just two years ago. It could be that in a decade, Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin will be seriously challenging Modano in a similar poll.