TORONTO -- Mike Modano is connected to each of his fellow classmates this weekend at the Hockey Hall of Fame in a unique way.
Modano nearly played for coach Pat Burns before his NHL career ever started. One of his highest highs and one of his lowest lows came against Rob Blake and Dominik Hasek. Some of his greatest playoff series came against Peter Forsberg.
Then there is referee Bill McCreary. When the members of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2014 gathered Saturday in the Great Hall to tell stories about their careers and answer questions from a room full of eager fans, Modano recalled an important moment early in his career.
"I was a little bit of a whiny, spoiled teenager when I started," Modano said. "Bill came up to me, he pulled me aside and he told me, 'Mike, if you show a little effort to work through some of the clutching and grabbing and not try to show us up as far as embellishing some of the falls out there, we're always going to give you the benefit of the doubt.' I've always remembered that."