Everything is bigger in Texas, including the presenters of the Dallas Stars picks at the NHL Draft.
Jamie Benn and Mike Modano announced the Stars selection during the first round Friday, and they stole the show with some witty banter to the delight of the home crowd at American Airlines Center.
"[Benn] looked surprised," Modano said. "I think it was unexpected where he was going. I don't think he knew what was going to happen. It's kind of neat to see."
The home fans gave Modano, who the then-Minnesota North Stars chose Modano with the first pick 30 years ago, and he is the franchise leader in games, goals and points and captained the Stars Stanley Cup championship season of 1998-99, a warm ovation after he was announced. He rewarded them with a Hall of Fame-caliber chirp to Benn, the Stars captain who was selected in the fifth round (No. 129) of the 2007 NHL Draft.
"Being up on this stage -- I know Jamie you didn't have a chance to be up on this stage," Modano said to Benn.
But Benn didn't miss a beat, saying "They definitely don't let fifth-rounders up on this stage, but it's a pleasure to be up here with you" before announcing the Stars selection of Ty Dellandrea, from Flint of the Ontario Hockey League who was ranked No. 25 among North American Skaters according to NHL Central Scouting.
Maybe Modano and Benn have a future in buddy comedy. Meanwhile, Dellandrea was more dumbfounded by them calling his name on draft night.
"It was unbelievable," Dellandrea said. "Two guys that you look up to in the hockey world for years [and] to be able to have your name called by Jamie is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. Amazing."
For Modano, Dallas hosting the draft is another step in the right direction.
"I think it's just another notch on the belt to say it's a legitimate hockey town," Modano said. "This is just one more of those events that kind of brings the hockey world to Dallas and kind of sees what kind of town it is."