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Modano joins Wild as executive adviser

Hockey Hall of Famer began NHL career in Minnesota three decades ago

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Mike Modano was named an executive adviser by the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

The Hockey Hall of Famer will work directly with Wild president Matt Majka and owner Craig Leipold on several initiatives relating to sales, corporate partnerships and community relations efforts.

He will begin his new role Sept. 1.

"I can't wait," Modano said. "I'm excited about it. I've been looking forward to the opportunity for a while. I've been away from the game for a bit. I think it was good mentally just to get a break and get away from it. I've always been a fan and enjoyed watching the games, but before getting involved with it I just needed a little time and space away with our family and kids obligations, but the time has come that I've been itching to get back into it. … I can't wait. I'm excited and I can't wait for training camp to be back in Minneapolis."

Modano had been an executive adviser and alternate governor with the Dallas Stars from 2013-15.

"Like I said in Dallas after I retired, I kind of got into that, spent a lot of time at the games and working on a community basis and working on the business side," Modano said. "I enjoyed that, so I think that was a part that I really enjoyed and something that Craig and I talked about from Day One. I'm very pleased how it worked out, and the position is exactly what I was looking for, and I'm glad it worked out that way."

Modano is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, but said he and his family will be relocating to the Minneapolis area at some point.

"I think when that happens, that will really kind of open the door to a lot of things that we could do together," Modano said. "Primarily like Craig said, I've done a little bit (of this role) in the past. I've dabbled with that a little bit with it with the Dallas Stars at some point. I love working within the community, I like working with the fan base, the season ticket holders, corporate people that support the Minnesota Wild. I look forward to creating some relationships with them. They're the people that really make that thing work in the Twin Cities, so I'm excited about that. It's stuff I really enjoy doing and being a part of talking hockey and getting people excited about being partners with the Minnesota Wild."

Modano, selected by the Minnesota North Stars with the No. 1 pick of the 1988 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut with them in the 1989-90 season. He played 20 of his 21 NHL seasons with the North Stars/Stars franchise before playing his final season with the Detroit Red Wings in 2010-11. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 after finishing his NHL career with 1,374 points (561 goals, 813 assists) in 1,499 games. Modano is first in NHL history in goals and points by a United States-born player. He won the Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999, and his No. 9 was retired by Dallas on March 8, 2014.

The native of Livonia, Michigan, represented the United States at 11 international tournaments, including the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Olympics, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey (won by the United States) and the 2005 IIHF World Championship. He won a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

Leipold said his relationship with Modano began about a year ago and grew through text messages exchanged during Wild games.

"If they're on the road I'm watching at home, and Mike's doing the same thing, and we're texting back and forth as to what we're seeing," Leipold said. "… And then when Mike came to visit us, I just felt a real connection between myself and Mike and Matt, and Mike and I could see the entire organization when he was in the building. And when he was in town, the community when they saw him, Mike is such an important part of our hockey culture in this state. The opportunity to have Mike come work for us is going to give us a big boost and that's pretty exciting."

NHL.com correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report

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