Several of Mike Modano’s teammates from the 1999 Stanley Cup championship team and former Stars executives were part of the Green Carpet event prior to Saturday’s number retirement ceremony. Here are what a few of them had to say about Modano.
Derian Hatcher, captain 1999 team
“As a player, I always say it is his jersey flying. I still have people asking me about that. Mike’s a great guy. I was with him through the goods and the bads in Minnesota, we came down here together and through the 12 years we got to build a special bond.”
Hatcher on the growth of hockey in Dallas
It’s nuts, look at this (crowd at the Green Carpet event). When Mike and I came down here from Minnesota, and to see this now it is unbelievable. It is definitely well deserved for Mike. There’s not a whole lot more to say, just look around.”
Craig Ludwig, defenseman 1999 team
“I looked up the definition the other day and wrote it down...The word is `Panache'...Do you know what the definition is? Distinctive and stylish elegance...on the ice and off. Does he not have stylish elegance on the ice when he plays the game? And is he distinctive. Mo is panache.''
Jamie Langenbrunner, forward 1999 team
“For me, growing up in Minnesota, he started his career there and he was one of my idols to watch. To have the opportunity to walk in the locker room and be next to him and play with one of your idols was amazing.”
Brett Hull, forward 1999 team
“World-class skill at world-class speed. World-class guy.” That’s what Mike Modano is.”
“I just did the green carpet and there’s 30 people deep because of Mike Modano. I think you guys understand that my dad took the WHA and he turned the WHA into a viable franchise, a viable league. Mike Modano took a franchise from Minnesota, took it to Dallas, Texas. From Minnesota to Texas. And the only reason we’re here standing today is because of Mike Modano. And I think that’s all you need to know.”
Doug Armstrong, assistant GM 1999 team
“It’s a privilege for me to be a part of this. I have so much respect for what Mike did, certainly what he did for hockey in America, but also what he for it here in Dallas. He put us on the map. The sacrifices that mike had to make to play in a Ken Hitchcock system. He probably would have had three or four hundred more points had he played in a different system, but I think Mike is going to go down as maybe the best two-way player to ever play the game. The way he affected how to play against the other team’s top players, but was still a necessity for him to produce offense for us.”
Former Stars owner Norm Green
“Mike was a perfect candidate to come to Minnesota when we were trying to save that franchise. He was nice, he was good looking, he was talented. That first year they went to the Stanley Cup (Final, 1991) he was sensational. When that didn’t work out, the same thing happened here (Dallas). He was the face, our image. It was perfect. You talk about an image. That’s why we have all these fans here now.”
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.