When Mike Modano retired in 2011 after playing 1,499 regular-season games, the Dallas Stars great had to have known he had a strong chance to one day be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
But truth be told, there was never any doubt.
Modano, the all-time leader in goals (561) and points (1,374) among players born in the United States, will enter the Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Toronto on Nov. 17. He received the call in June while driving in his car and when he saw who was on the other end, he knew he had to stop.
"Just a little disbelief. You just don't feel like there's a part of you that buys you're going in with the greats to ever play the game," Modano told NHL.com. "You feel like you, in some weird way, you don't belong in there with those guys. But it was quite a call. I just had to pull over to the curb to take that one."
Modano is one of four players who will enter the Hall this year, joining Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake. Former referee Bill McCreary will also be enshrined, along with former coach Pat Burns, who was posthumously elected. Modano's thrilled to be a part of such a tremendous class; he played against Hasek when the Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.