Modano most proud of '99 Cup, growing game in Dallas

BY foxsports • November 22, 2014

DALLAS -- By nature, Mike Modano isn't one to pound his chest and let the world know about all that he accomplished during his Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Stars and one final year with the Detroit Red Wings.

But Modano, the Stars and Dallas sports icon who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this week, does take pride in two things about his incomparable run with the Stars.

"I get asked that all the time (what I am most proud of from my time here)," Modano said at a pregame press conference on Saturday. "I think of the Stanley Cup. I think of the popularity of the sport in Texas and making it something here in Dallas, so those two things. I think the longevity of being in the sport for such a long time, I really never realized it'd last that long but it's gone by in a blink of an eye."

Prior to Saturday's game between the Stars and Los Angeles Kings, Modano was honored for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the latest night of recognition for No. 9, a run of memorable nights that also included seeing his iconic digit raised to the AAC rafters back in March.

However, Mo knows Saturday's ceremony is the last one.

"This is the last official one, isn't it? Yeah, this is the finale. They're all just different in their own way. They've all been really a lot of fun. They've been meaningful in different ways. They're all significant the meaning of them, they're all different," Modano said.

Modano made it a point to thank several people for the instrumental roles they played in helping him play the game he loved at a very high level and eventually reach the Hockey Hall.

That list included his parents, Rick Wilson, who brought him from Detroit to Prince Albert at age 16, former Stars head coach and general manager Bob Gainey, plus former coaches Ken Hitchcock, Doug Jarvis and Dave Tippett.

Like many ex-players, he admits there are aspects of no longer playing the game that he continues to miss.

"I just love the speed of the game. I love coming down the ice, the skating of it and just the flow of the game," Modano said. "I just love the pace and speed of it. Obviously, skating's something I really loved doing and tried to get better at year after year, but you miss the guys. You miss the busses and the planes and the locker room and all that fun stuff."

Of course, there are things he won't miss, a list which naturally includes many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of playing in the NHL.

"There's some things you don't miss-the preparation, the commitment it takes to play. There's a lot of work behind that goes into it to play that over time that can motivationally and mentally wear you down," Modano said.


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