The day has finally arrived. After waiting for what seems like forever, former Dallas Stars great Mike Modano announced today via his Facebook page (Yea I know, really that’s how he did it?) that he has decided to retire. A press conference is scheduled for Friday and should be broadcast or linked on the Stars website. While I never wanted to see my childhood hero retire from the game, we all knew it was coming and since the spring of last year I have been waiting for it.
After a long summer of thinking about my future, I’ve come to the decision that it’s time to retire as a player from the NHL. There’s way too many people to thank here at this time and too much to say, so I have a press conference scheduled for early Friday afternoon. Check back Friday late afternoon for more. What a great ride it’s been!
Modano hangs his skates up obviously as one of the best to play the game. He is not just the greatest American-born hockey player because most believe it to be so, but because of his stats and play. Modano played a total of 1,499 career games, amassing 561 goals and 813 assists to end his career with 1,374 points. He holds numerous titles within not just the Stars organization, but also a few in the NHL. Most goals and points by an American-born player, most of both of those within the Stars, playoff points by an American-born player, and more. To many in my age range (20-30), he was probably the first thing most of us knew about the Dallas Stars in their first years in Dallas. He was not only the super-star on the ice, but he became the ambassador and face of the franchise as well. He played nice with the media, constantly was meeting fans, and appeared all over town either at events or just out enjoying himself. To many he was the Dallas Stars. He became the team’s Troy Aikman. While Troy was the leader, bus-driver, and overall constant star to the Cowboys 90’s success, Modano was the same for the Stars growth in Dallas and eventual success as well.
In the end there is too much that should be said about Modano. Most of it I’ve said before right here on this site. I anticipated and waited for his retirement last summer, I fought and struggled with him going to the Detroit Red Wings last fall, and I again waited and this time hoped for it this summer. He will always be Dallas Stars hockey to most, and some of us will always hold him on a pedestal that can not be reached. I know personally I will never forget the memories. Watching him in awe when I first started getting into hockey in the mid 90’s, shaking his hand as the Stars’ stick-kid at a game in November 1998, watching him with the Cup later that year, cheering as he broke the records in the later years, receiving an auto-graphed game worn sweater that he used in his final game in Dallas, and so many more.
Here is to you Mike. May you always shine brightly in your years to come, and thank you for the all the memories. Here is one last ovation for you, the only #9 Dallas should ever have: Mike Modano Ovation.