Stars give NHL greats new roles with team

DALLAS — Thursday was a big day for the Dallas Stars. Not only did the club announce a number of initiatives to commemorate the franchise’s 20th season in the Lone Star State, but the organization also announced the addition of three familiar names to the front office in a variety of roles.

Former Star Mike Modano, who retired from the game prior to last season, will re-join the same organization that drafted him and where he played all but one season of his illustrious NHL career as an Executive Adviser and Alternate Governor.

Three-time Cup champ Mark Recchi will join the front office as an adviser to the hockey operations department, and former Stars goalie Marty Turco will be a TV analyst for the team.

Modano will be working closely with team president Jim Lites and the club’s ownership group.

“He’s the Wayne Gretzky of Dallas. He’s the Wayne Gretzky of US Hockey. I’m just so elated that Mike’s coming on board,” Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. “I don’t think that we can be successful in this market without Mike being part of it. I know he’s going to provide a lot of help to us.”

Modano kept a fairly low profile last year, his first after retiring from the NHL, but was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in October in Dallas and the local sports icon felt the time was right for him to reconnect with the Stars organization.

“After retiring, I needed a little time to enjoy retirement and get away from the sport a little bit. I think right now we’ve found a great fit,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity obviously from Tom Gaglardi to have a chance to be back with the organization. Just appreciate the opportunity.”

Recchi, a former teammate of current Stars forward Jaromir Jagr in Pittsburgh, will assist Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk in a number of areas including scouting and meeting with players.

Recchi and Gaglardi know each other well as both are part of the ownership group for the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. The Stars owner couldn’t be happier to add him to the Dallas organization.

“He [Recchi] will be in the Hall of Fame as fast as he can get in the door there. He provides all that experience,” Gaglardi said. “He’s been really helpful. I think he’s got some really neat ideas that will help us. Really thrilled to have Mark on board.”

Recchi, who admits he has spent much of his time watching his son play since retiring after the 2010-11 season, which he spent in Boston, is thrilled to be working with Gaglardi in a different capacity and for the Stars.

“Can’t tell you how I excited I am to be part of the Dallas Stars organization. I’m honored to be here,” Recchi said. “It’s an exciting time for me. I’m here to help in any way I can with Joe, Bob and the hockey operations. I’m just honored to be part of it. I look forward to the Stars being Stanley Cup champions again and believe with this group we have that opportunity.”

The final member of this talented trio is Turco, who will come on as an analyst. Turco has previously worked for the NHL Network and spent 10 seasons with the Dallas organization from 2000-10. Like Modano, returning to Big D was a no-brainer for Turco once the opportunity materialized to reconnect with the organization.

“The opportunity to bring the family back to Dallas was certainly an easy one. In the greater picture, being part of the Dallas Stars family and being part of the Dallas community alone is what tickles me inside,” Turco said. “I appreciate the opportunity. I appreciate being here.”