Tag Archives: Mike Modano


Dayum Willa.  You’ve gotten rather porcine since the last time I saw you.

But I suppose that this atrocity just means Jersey Fouls are back.  And the return of Jersey Fouls means we’re that much closer to hockey season! And I mean the regular season, not this preseason crap that counts for nothing.

And that’s something to celebrate.  Right Conan?

Nine Unforgettable Memories of #9 (in a Stars Uniform)

With yesterday’s news that Mike Modano will sign with the Red Wings, it’s official that he will not retire as a Dallas Star. I wasn’t sure if that meant that this was the time for a tribute or if I should wait until he retires. I just felt that perhaps I should do it now, when my head and my heart are full of emotion.

Mo gave us a lot of stuff to remember him by in his 21 years with the Minnesota/Dallas organization. However, I narrowed the memories down to nine unforgettable ones, the memories that will linger years after he’s hung up the skates.

1. Those Hard Passes! Whenever a young guy was able to take a Modano pass well, I silently applauded them. Mo’s passes were creative, precise, and hard. Even as he showed signs of aging, those passes always remained the same- literal bullets.

2. November 7, 2007- The Night Mike Modano Became the All-Time American. I think that Ralph said it best: “And he’s alone at the top.”

It was such a great moment. The class those Sharks and their fans exuded was very nice, especially when you consider what the Trashville people did.

3. Mo’s Mighty Ducks cameo. Okay, I realize that the Mighty Ducks soon became our rivals, but whatever. I got a real kick out of seeing Mo and Basil McRae the first time I ever watched the movie. The first time I saw it was in elementary school, and I proudly pointed out to my classmates, “That’s Mike Modano, Dallas Star and the best hockey player in the world.”

Seventeen years after that humorous guest spot, Mo starred in his own show: his final home game in Dallas against- who else?- the Ducks. Funny how it sort of went full circle, isn’t it?

4. The Beauty. Mike was blessed with GQ looks and ended up on a few magazine covers in his career. He’s definitely gorgeous, but I never had a crush on him because he was like family. If that makes sense.

Even more surprising is the fact that he is still in possession of the same exact teeth he started with. Pretty neat, huh?

5. The Goal Celebration. While people like Alex Ovechkin and Teemu Selanne are famous for their unique goal celebrations, Modano never was. When Mo scored a goal, his celebration was simple and classy: a winning smile, stick in the air, and light in his eyes.

6. Modano, the Dallas icon. Few athletes have ever been as adored in Dallas as Mike Modano was. You have Emmit Smith, Troy Aikman, Nolan Ryan…and Mike Modano. Without Mo, hockey probably would never have made it in the South. For 21 years, Mo has been the face of the franchise, the one people always associate with the Stars.

Mike Modano is well loved in Dallas and he loves the city back. That’s why Detroit is his hometown, but Dallas is his home. There’s a difference.

7. The Class…and the Respect Mo Garnered Because of It. It’s safe to say that everyone likes (or at least respects) Mike Modano. Sure, you’ll get those angry fans who are like, “I hate Modano. He always beats my team!” Then they’ll grudgingly say, “But I respect him because he’s a class act.”

When those Sharks fans applauded Mo’s achievment as the all-time American, it was because they knew it couldn’t have happened to a classier guy. When Ruslan Salei nearly broke Mo’s neck and there was talk of retribution from the Stars, Mo calmly said that a better revenge would be to beat the Ducks. That’s Mo for you- classy and graceful.

Mike Modano proved that nice guys do finish first.

8. April 8, 2010- The Finale. We didn’t know it at the time, though we probably guessed it, but the Stars’ home finale was also Mo’s home finale. It was the best regular season game I’ve ever seen. I can’t describe it any better than I did on my game review.

Everything went perfectly, and I’m truly glad that that was Mo’s last game in Dallas as a member of the home team.

9. His Jersey Flapping in the Wind. On his best nights, Mike Modano flew. Streaking down the ice, carrying the puck, jersey flapping in the wind, Modano was Superman. It is that mental image of Mo flying and jersey flapping that I will take with me from his years in Dallas.

Someday, Mike will be back in Dallas. First, for his jersey retirement ceremony. Then, he’ll join the Stars’ front office and be back where he belongs.

Until then, I will carry with me these memories of Mo and wish him nothing but the best with the Wings. As long as he’s happy, I can’t be angry with him.

It’s been fun, #9. Go make some new memories.

Mo-Town or Bust.

Not very any Stars fans are pleased about the recent news that it’s Red Wings or retirement for #9.  I’m in the minority on this one.  From the second Joe announced he wouldn’t resign Modano, I knew that the only team I was okay with Mo going to was the Red Wings.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting him play in his hometown.  I say hometown because Detroit’s not his home.  Dallas is and will always be Mike Modano’s home.  Livonia, Michigan is just where it started, and I have no problem with letting his career come full circle with his last season as a hometown favorite.

Detroit actually has sentimental meaning to Mo, unlike Chicago or someone.  I’d rather that he play in a place with meaning than a place where he just wants to win.

Of course, he might retire.   But that seems unlikely to me.

Whatever decision Mo chooses, I will support him in.  All I want is for him to be happy.

Mike Modano, circa 1986

The Poster Boys

For quite a few years, I’ve had a poster hanging in my room beside my bed.  This poster has three beloved guys on it: Mike Modano, Marty Turco, and Sergei Zubov.  I looked at this poster the other day, shortly after the news broke that we wouldn’t be resigning Modano, and felt a dagger go through my heart.  I realized that all of the guys on my poster were no longer Dallas Stars.  It’s really a sad time in Stars history.  The “poster boys” are all gone…

The Modano Era, 1988-2010

It’s officially over now. Joe Nieuwendyk announced this morning that Mo is not in the Stars’ plans moving forward.

This decision doesn’t come easy, but it’s something I’ve been talking to Mike about for quite some time. It’s a difficult decision for fans and our entire organization. I feel it’s necessary for us to move foward under these trying times. We have young players that I believe have to be put in a postion where they can be successful and unfortunately (for the situation with Modano) the depth of our team is at the center positon.

That dramatic home finale on April 8 really was Mo’s last home game, at least in a Stars uniform. That’s nice to know. And there’s a very good chance he’ll retire, too. Heika says there’s a 75 percent chance he retires, and hopefully he’s right.

Nieuwy said that Mo can’t have a job in the organization just yet because of the ownership issues. However, he did say that when the new owner finally arrives, he’ll be the first to ask that Mo get a job with the organization.

I said at the draft, Scott Niedermayer was presenting the first rounder a jersey and I wish Mike Modano was there to present Jack Campbell with a jersey. Next year it’s in Minnesota, what a great thing that would be. His association with our organization will always be there.

I’ll be perfectly honest: I’m crying right now. We all knew the day would come when we’d have to let our guy go. Well, that day is finally here.

There’s a lot I want to say right now, but just can’t. It’s too hard and too painful at the moment. I think I summed up my feelings a while back after those last two games of the season. All I have to say to Mike is a gigantic, “Thank you.”

We’ll miss you Mike, and you will always be a Dallas Star in our hearts.

Good-bye, old friend. For now.

Freak Out

Today, ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett interviewed Mike Modano and caused several high-scale anxiety attacks across the Dallas- Fort Worth area.  Mo revealed that if he’ll actually consider signing with another team for next season.

Uh, what?

The more and more I look at the situation here, I come to believe I’m not in the scheme of things here.  If I had to play, I may have to look at going elsewhere.

He just can’t sign with another team.  Mike Modano is no Brett Favre, who goes team to team never looking back at the Green Bay Packers who got him to this point. 

If Mo went to a different team, it just wouldn’t be right.  I’m pretty sure that every hockey fan on earth would agree that it’s only right for a franchise player like Modano to retire with that franchise.  Think Yzerman and the Red Wings and Sakic and the Avs.  It’s the same situation here and now.

Face it: we don’t want Mo to do a Brett Hull-Coyotes thing.  It’s just not right.  Now, I’m all for resigning Mo and dealing with the repurcussions.  It would hurt a lot less than seeing him in another team’s jersey.

Oh, mighty Hockey Gods, please, please, PLEASE let Mo retire as a Star.  It’s all I ask.

Awarding It Stars Style

So…another disappointing, not to mention frustrating, playoff-less season.  As much as that sucks, at least we can still have some fun and give some awards to the Stars who showed up this season.  Here we go…

Hart Trophy

Brad Richards.  The one we’ve come to call B-Rad had an amazing season.  Wanna know how amazing it was?  He was two points away from tying the franchise record for points in a season.  Two points.  That’s not to mention the fact that he had this stellar season after last year’s freak hand and wrist injuries.  The Stars might have finished with a lottery pick if it wasn’t for Brad.

Norris Trophy

Mark Fistric.  Fishsticks finished a plus-30 on the Stars.  To have such a great plus-minus on a bad team is always a good thing.  Then there’s the fact that he’s bad-ass.  I mean, he beat a guy up with his helmet and then got ejected for it.  What a rebel.

Runner-Up: Nick Grossman

Vezina Trophy

Kari Lehtonen. Turco was disappointing.  So was Alex Auld.  Kari Lehtonen was this bright little ray of sunshine that fell into our laps.  Kari played out fo his mind most of the time and he was really good. I think he’s the future.

Lady Byng

Mike Modano.  I think his moving ovation sums this one up perfectly.  Mo is the epitome of class.

You don’t see such an ovation for just any player.


Brad Richards.  The Stars still have not named their nominee, but I’m hoping it’s B-Rad.  Flashback to March 29, 2009:  Brad broke his left hand in his first game back from a broken wrist.  That game ended the season for him and, essentially, the Stars’ chances to make the playoffs.  He had an incredible season after such a tragic string of injuries.  That’s what I call perseverance.

Other Trophies…

Rocket Richard- Loui Eriksson

Art Ross- Brad Richards

Jennings- Turco and Lehtonen

Well.  That’s all for now.  Go out and watch some more playoffs, alright?

Maybe next year will be our year…

This Is It

For Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen, tonight just might be it for them.  I’m hoping that it isn’t, as we all are, but the day we’ve been dreading for awhile might have finally arrived.

Face it: we all knew they’d have to retire someday, we just never really thought about when that day would come.  Those days of taking our guys for granted are long gone.  Tonight might be all we have left with them. 

It’s going to be gut-wrenching pain for me while watching the game tonight.  I just can’t bear the fact that this might be the end of an era.  It’s so sad.  I hate to say it , but Mo and Lehts are goners.  After such a great home finale on Thursday night, there’s no way they’ll play another year.  There’s just too much irony going on.

The fact that tonight’s game is Minnesota is a great story for the end of a career.  He’d leave the game of hockey in the best way possible: with a successful home finale and a final game back where it all started.  I’m selfish, you’re selfish, we’re all selfish; we want “one Mo year.” 

All I’m saying is that if this is really it, the game will have lost two fine, classy players in Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen.

To Mo, Lehts, Turco, and the other Stars who might be playing their final game in a Stas uniform tonight, I give you all an exuberant, “Thank you.”

Thanks for the memories, guys.  I’ll never forget the good ol’ days.

Let’s party like it’s 1999.  Make it happen.

Go Stars! 

The Last Song

You just can’t make this stuff up.   I mean, you really can’t.  The home finale couldn’t have gone more perfectly.   It was amazing in every way possible.

What a way to send Mo, Lehts and Turco off in style.   All three had great games, and were the three stars of the game.  They deserved it.  There aren’t enough words to describe my joy about last night.

To describe it best, last night was irony galore.   I liked the little touch of Mike Modano-wannabe extraordinaire, Bobby Ryan, getting both Duck goals.  I loved that Mo and Lehts were vintage Modano and Lehtinen.  It meant a lot to me as a Stars fan that those two won the shootout for us.

Now, admit it: all you really wanted was for Mike Modano to get a goal in the final home game.  I’ll come right out and say that that’s what I wanted.  It’s what we all wanted.  I think he needed to score one last time at home for us to be satisfied.  I wanted to hear the roar of the crowd and the ovation he got if he scored a goal.  Never mind that his stick was a tad high.  The refs HAD to give it to him.  That’s what you do for a classy player who’s about to hang up the skates.  I cannot stress enough how perfect it was.

Every time that Modano got the puck, you could hear this collective gasp.  Even if it was a mere dump-in, we couldn’t help but get excited.  We wanted that Modano goal bad.  Thank the hockey gods we got it.  And a creative little assist for that matter, as well.  

To be honest, as soon as I saw that we were going to a shootout, my mind went wild.   All I could think about was how wrong it was that it had to end in a shootout loss.  Hiller had been outstanding throughout the game and let’s face it, it hasn’t exactly been a great year for shootouts.  But there was a big part of me that believed we could win it, just for the hell of it.  I knew Mo would shoot and when he made it, I literally jumped out of my seat and started screaming out of happiness.   Then, when I saw Jere getting ready to shoot all I was thinking was, “No.  There is no freakin’ way it’ll end like this.  Nothing goes that perfectly.”  Needless to say, I’m glad I was wrong.

A side note to last night’s game is Philip Larsen who made his debut.  I just wanted to recognize that, since it was obviously overshadowed by Modano, Lehtinen, and Turco.  I liked what I saw from Phil and I’m eager to see him as a full-time Star.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I will cherish April 8, 2010 forever.  Rarely is a meaningless regular season game so compelling, so epic.  I’m so thankful that we the fans got the opportunity to send off three great Dallas Stars, unlike the way we never got to give Sergei Zubov a proper, much-deserved good-bye.   

For twenty seasons, we’ve watched Mike Modano be our franchise.  It’s always been a lot of the same: goals, assists, franchise records, that jersey flapping in the wind et cetera.  Last night, we finally saw the great #9 do something different.

He broke down and cried.

Thanks for everything, Mo, Jere, and Turco.  Thank you so, so much.

Say it with me…


You’d better believe it.

Turco’s Last Stand

So.  This is the end of the Turco era.  I just wanted to say how truly sad that makes me feel.  He’s been a constant on this team for a long time.  Whether you liked him or not, it’s hard to let someone like that go.

I just wanted to say, thank you, Marty, for everything you’ve done for us.  You’ve been a great person, if not a great goaltender.  I’m sorry that we Stars fans have to part with you in a bittersweet ending, but that’s how it goes sometimes.  Thanks again, Mr. Turco.

Equally sad is the fact that this might be the last time Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen play in front of the home crowd.

Say it with me,



Go Stars.