Category Archives: Mike Modano

Missing the Beards, With Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick

Playoff Beard Follies

I miss Mike Modano more than he misses his playoff beard.

2011

All in all, 2011 proved to be a heartbreaking year– Stars hockey and otherwise.  As Stars fans, we suffered the incredible devastation that came when our guys completely blew it.  All they needed was a regulation or overtime win against the Minnesota Wild.  That’s cake, it’s so easy for us to beat them.  But that’s not what happened.  The Stars were handed the chance to write their own destiny when the Blackhawks lost earlier that day.  But they blew it.

Marc Crawford was fired two days later, surely causing many to celebrate an experiment that had gone wrong. 

The offseason brought a shakeup as Glen Gulutzan was brought in and Brad Richards signed elsewhere.  However, Nieuwendyk being the mild genius he is, used B-Rad’s cap space to bring in Vernon Fiddler, Sheldon Souray, Radek Dvorak, and Jake Dowell to add depth to a team that kind of lacked it.  Then, in a truly awesome twist, Sean Avery was waived, so Nieuwy traded for Eric Nystrom to bring the Stars to the cap floor.  At the time, the trade was kind of like whatever.  Now?  It’s effing brilliant.  Nystrom has already surpassed his career high in goals and we’re not even halfway through the season.

The Stars have struggled through their typical mediocrity, but they’ve been a surprising team this season.  Most critics picked them to finish in the West’s basement, but they’re currently duking it out for a playoff spot.  Granted, tht’s not too different than last year, but things just feel different, you know?  

Despite the injuries piling up, I still think we’re in a good spot.  The new owndership is in place.  Kari’s back.  The third line is all kinds of awesome.  This year might not be the year, but I feel really good about the direction we’re headed.

Same goes for the NHL and hockey in general.  No one can deny that it was a terrible offseason, starting with the Vancouver riots and ending with the Lokomotiv disaster.  We lost a lot of good men over the summer.

One such loss was that of Our Star, Mike Modano, who retired in September.  It wasn’t all that shocking, but it still hurt to see my favorite player of all-time go.  One bright spot in such a sad year was the one-day contract the Stars signed Mo to, to ensure he retired a Dallas Star.   

The concussion epidemic is still going on, with Team Concussion boasting the likes of Sidney Crosby and Chris Pronger among others.  It’s truly been a bad year in hockey, with more bad happenings than good. 

2012 might bring the end of the world, but in hockey, I thik it’s something to look forward to.

The Greatest Time of Year

Welp, we made it!  After a long fucking hellatus, it’s hockey season again.  While we shouldn’t forget about those we lost in the offseason, the literal losses (Boogaard, Rypien, Belak, Lokomotiv), and the figurative losses (Mike Modano, possibly others), it’s time to move on a little with the best therapy: real live hockey.

I’m positively shaking with excitement. 

Here’s a great story about loving hockey and shoving the haters to the left: http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/NHL-hockey-is-back-and-if-you-dont-like-it-you-can-leave-us-alone-100511/?GT1=39002

More than we might think. And people are kidding themselves if they think hockey scrums are unique for the salty language. Kobe Bryant dropped the same homophobic slur on a referee last season, yet nobody used that as proof basketball was rife with -ists. It was just a frustrated guy saying an idiotic thing, much like Simmonds.

They are not bleeping accountants. They are hockey players. They skate around at incredibly high speeds and bang bodies and play through broken jaws and shredded knees. And so, yes, the sport — like most sports — attracts guys’ guys who behave differently than, say, my friends and I at Junior League meetings.

This is not to say hockey is some racist, sexist, homophobic mess. In my experience, something like 99.9 percent of the guys are exactly like guys you know. Maybe this is because hockey is not popular enough for them to have televised “Decisions,” or maybe they do not engage is such narcissistic silliness because they are good guys. Whatever the causality, the “everyday dude” thing they have going on is one of the things that makes hockey great.

So get on board, or leave hockey alone.

“Get on board, or leave hockey alone.”

Drop the puck already.

The Last of the North Stars

Don’t cry…don’t cry..don’t cry…ok bawling.

The other day, Mike Modano announced his retirement from the NHL.  This surprised no one, as it really is time for him to go.  That doesn’t mean it hurts any less.  With Mo’s retirement, the league loses a classy, talented, truly special player.  At the same time, though, the Stars gain back a treasured family member.

And of course it will end where it all started: with the North Stars/Stars francise.  Today GM Joe announced that we would sign Mo to a one-day contract this Friday so our beloved number 9 could retire on his team.

Here’s part of the Stars’ press release:

Frisco, Tex. – Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the NHL club will sign center Mike Modano to an official NHL contract, giving him the opportunity to officially retire as a Dallas Star. Modano will sign the contract at Friday’s press conference. Afterwards, he will send in his retirement paperwork to the National Hockey League. Full information on the press conference is listed below.

The amount listed on the contract will be $999,999 in honor of his No. 9.

“This is a special day for all of us,” said Nieuwendyk. “Mike Modano will always be the face of this franchise. He means so much to our organization and all of our fans. We wanted to give him the opportunity to retire as a Dallas Star. Mike has given his heart and soul to this game for over 30 years. On behalf of the entire organization and the National Hockey League, we would like to thank him for his dedication.”

My favorite part is the $999,999 in honor of the great number 9.  It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

I don’t think I can wrap Modano’s career up any better than with my post after he signed with the Red Wings, “Nine Unforgettable Memories of Number 9 (In a Stars Uniform):  https://dallasstars4life.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/nine-unforgettable-memories-of-9-in-a-stars-uniform

Now that the final North Star has decided to hang up the skates, all that’s left to say is a resounding thank you to the one and only Mike Modano.

Thank you, #9.

Highlight of the Weekend

More memorable than the win on Friday and that horrific loss last night was the tribute and ovation given to Jere Lehtinen during Friday’s game.

It was so touching, and I’ll admit that it got me choked up.  God, Lehtinen’s so classy.  He’s so humble that he probably only expected a few seconds of a tribute on the video board, not a two-to-three minute standing ovation.

It’s nice that we got to honor Jere like that.  With any luck, we can someday honor Sergei Zubov with his own standing O as he never did get a proper send-off.

No matter, some day in the not-so-distant future, we’ll get to honor all three of our franchise guys, Lehtinen, Zubov, and Mike Modano when we retire their numbers.

Thanks for everything, guys.

It doesn’t feel so strange anymore…

You could call this a former Stars update of sorts.  What I really wanted to talk about is how I haven’t missed Mike modano, Marty Turco, or Jere Lehtinen the way I initiallay thought I would. 

To be honest, I don’t feel their absence.  What I originally thought would be a huge gaping hole in the lineup really isn’t.  What I mean to say is that I thoguht things would never feel “normal” without those three guys on the team. 

At the beginning of the season, Mo, Lehts, and Turco were conspicuously absent, but after going undefeated for four games, I forgot about them not being there. 

We have an amazing young team, you guys.  The Pacific and the West are tough, but we’re not out of it yet.  Brad Richards is making a case for a Hart trophy nomination; Loui Eriksson has turned into an elite sniper; Jamie Benn and the kids are improving every game; Kari Lehtonen has carried this team all season.

All of this…without franchise favorites like Mike modano, Jere Lehtinen, and Marty Turco.  Their absence doesn’t feel odd and unpleasant anymore.  There is no hole in my heart, the lineup, or otherwise.

Be thankful for the team we’ve got.  Even though we may not make the playoffs, we’re in the best shape in two years.  Keep on believing.

“90 is just a number. 9 is forever.”

I did not expect that. And let’s be honest, did any of us? We fucking OWNED that game. Last night was full of personal expectations for me that were not met. I expected to cry when I saw Mike Modano, but I didn’t even shed a tear. I expected the Wings to obliterate us, but instead we showed them the Dallas stars Blitzkrieg.

Crazy, right?

We had goals from the guys we need goals from- Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow, Loui (LOUI) Eriksson, and James “Real Deal” Neal.  Fun fact: Brenden Morrow is among the league leaders in goals, Brad Richards is a leader in points assists, and plus-minus, and we’re 3-0. Kari Lehtonen was a solid presence in the net.   We were outshot, and Kari performed magnificently.  Oh, and the PK wasn’t as atrocious as it was.  I mean, we only let in one goal on the PK. That’s progress.

Mark Fistric was a monster, as evidenced by this hit to Johan Franzen that has the Wings camp in an uproar:

Franzen left and is rumored to have a concussion. But never fear, it was a totally clean hit.  Fishsticks hits people to play the game, unlike guys like James Wisniewski who hurt guys to settle this sick desire to hurt people. But that’s just my opinion.

The Stars were the better team last night, and they showed it by doing the little things.  I was really proud of them.  Bottom line, we’re three-and-oh, bitches.  Stats are useless; the only one that matters is wins.  Obviously the Stars will fall back to Earth sometime, but I want to enjoy this wondeful feeling while it lasts.  It’s fun being at the top.

Finally, here’s some Modano footage, including an interview:

Nest up, we play the Blues.  The big question is, Will the Stars finally crash back down to Earth? Or will they keep up this shocking run?

Let’s make it happen. GO STARS.