By Stefan Kubus -
Mike Modano, a Michigan native and perhaps the greatest American-born forward to play in the National Hockey League, will officially have his name immortalized in the world of United States hockey.
After 21 NHL seasons, Modano joins New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, and former Pittsburgh Penguin Ed Olczyk as the Class of 2012 entering the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
“It’s been a privilege and honor to be a part of the USA Hockey family for 20-plus years,” said Modano, a native of Livonia. “The opportunities and experiences they’ve allowed me to have internationally and in our home country has been quite a dream come true.”
Modano, 42, played all but one season of his career with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise. His last season, the 2010-11 campaign with Detroit, abruptly came to an end after he suffered a gruesome wrist laceration.
It’s safe to say that Modano, the eight-time NHL all-star and one-time Stanley Cup winner with Dallas in 1999, greatly accelerated hockey’s growth, not only in the United States, but also right here in the Mitten.
On the international stage, Modano represented the Red, White, and Blue in eleven contests, including three Winter Olympics. In 2002, Modano helped lead the U.S. to a silver medal in Salt Lake City. His only gold medal came at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
His ability to bring fans out of the seats with his electric style of play dazzled Michiganders with pride for just over two decades.
It’s that style of play that led to Modano setting numerous NHL and Dallas franchise records.
His career 561 goals, 1,374 points, 145 playoff points, and 1,499 games played are all NHL records for an American-born players. In Dallas, Modano holds the franchise records for most games played, goals, assists, and points for both the regular season and playoffs.
It’s hard to think that any of those will be broken anytime soon.