The hockey star hinted about retiring at the end of the season, but nothing is finalized. That still didn’t stop fans and fellow players for showing their appreciation over the last couple of days for everything he’s done.
It all started Thursday night at the American Airlines Center. Modano, skating for possibly the last time on home ice, was treated to multiple standing ovations. What many will remember is the 3-minute ovation in the 3rd period that caused tears to roll down Mo’s cheek. One of those moments that nobody will forget, seeing the career of one of hockey’s good guys come to an end before your very eyes. Everything stopped at that moment when the cameras panned back and forth between Mo and the fans. You could sense that he didn’t expect the love like that and it moved him more than he could ever imagine and prepare for.
That’s just the beginning. What happened next is something you would expect to see in a Disney movie. With the Stars down 2-1 to Anaheim, Modano reflects a shot that skirts past the goalie and ties the game. Wait, it gets better. In the overtime shootout, guess who gets the game winning goal for Dallas? If your answer is Mike Modano, then you are correct. Can you think of a better way to end your last possible home game? This really happened.
The regular season finale took place in Minnesota, which is ironic since that is where Mo’s career started. He was the first pick in the 1988 NHL draft by the Minnesota North Stars. The franchise would relocate to Dallas a few years later. Still, to have your last skate in the place where you first started, you can’t script it any better.
The Minnesota crowd greeted Modano with more standing ovations. The highlight was Mo skating back on the ice after the game wearing his old North Stars jersey and waving to the crowd. Simply classic.
One of the more popular athletes in the DFW area, Modano is in my opinion a sure Hall of Famer. He holds the NHL’s all-time record for most points scored by a U-S born player. He has 543 career goals, the 14th player in history to score over 500 goals with a single team. Modano also played in 3 Stanley Cup series, winning one with the Stars in 1999. Looks like a nice resume to me.
So if this is the end of Mo’s career, what a way to skate off into the sunset.
Written by C. James