With Mike Modano going into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame later this month, USA Hockey saw Dallas as a perfect fit to host this year’s induction ceremony.
“It often makes sense to have people celebrated by the fans in the towns where they have played a substantial part of their career,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “To date, we’ve been in some more traditional markets like Chicago, Buffalo and Boston, but I think going to Dallas is terrific. It’s natural with Mike being inducted, but it also helps us spread the exposure for the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and for its inductees.”
Since USA Hockey took over responsibilities for the selection process and induction ceremonies for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006, it has held the induction festivities primarily in NHL markets. Last year it was held in Chicago for the induction of Chicago native and former Chicago Blackhawk Chris Chelios. New England natives John LeClair and Tony Amonte were inducted in Boston in 2009.
“We like moving this event around the country so more and more people have a chance to experience it,” said Ogrean. “And I think it makes sense if you can tie it to one of the inductees’ home teams.”
And now it’s Dallas’s turn. On October 15, Modano will go into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame along with Lou Lamoriello and Eddie Olczyk. The event will be held on the ice at the Plaza of the Americas in Dallas, and will be a chance for fans in Dallas to celebrate Modano’s career.
“People will have an opportunity to see him with the uniform off, the helmet off and see him speak and see him honored for a tremendous body of work,” said Ogrean.
A body of work that not only saw Modano become the highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history, but be a key player for USA Hockey over the years, helping the team win the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and take home a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
“From the time he was coming out of Michigan, I think a lot of people expected him to be a superstar and he fulfilled that expectation completely all along the way,” said Ogrean. “He’s got the handsome, matinee-idol looks. He’s been one of the greatest scorers in the game, not just one of the greatest American scorers, but one of the greatest scorers in the game, period, over the course of the last 20 years.
“He’s a little bit larger than life. I know he’s a celebrity in Dallas, not just a hockey player. He’s a tremendous talent. He’s been a key contributor on several teams where he has been invited to wear the USA jersey. I know he’s inspired a lot of young people who watched him play, to take up the game and play it as well.”
And he helped fuel the growth of hockey in Dallas and all across Texas as well, from the moment he and the Stars arrived in town back in 1993.
“Dallas has been, since the Stars moved there, a really solid hockey market and their impact on amateur hockey in Texas has been terrific,” said Ogrean. “And great players like Brett Hull, Joe Nieuwendyk and Mike Modano have been a part of that by capturing people’s attention.”
Modano will be among those at the center of attention on October 15, and fans can be a part of the experience. Tickets won’t be sold at the door, but can be purchased online at USHockeyHallofFame.com.
“It’s going to be a great night,” said Ogrean. “We’re looking forward to bringing it to Texas. Hopefully a lot of the fans that watched Mike play are going to want to come out and honor him that night.”
To purchase tickets and for more information on the event, please visit USHockeyHallofFame.com or click here.