It took a little while, but the Dallas Stars did eventually post the entire video of the Mike Modano retirement news conference. For those of you who missed it, grab a box of tissues. He sure went through enough of them.
Although Modano has never been my favorite player, I have always appreciated how unfailingly honest he is with his emotions, and Friday's event was no different. While a lot of players are, understandably, very controlled with their emotions and do interviews with mostly cliches, Modano was much more likely to say exactly what he was thinking. Sure, that got him into trouble with the national media at times when they didn't understand he was being sarcastic, but it was a rare touch of personality in a sport that could use far more.
So in this conference, you get jokes about flirting with women who are having some sort of party and the self-deprecating humor when he jokes about how easily he cries and his choice of teenage hairstyle.
And you also get a real sense of just how special of an athlete he was both on and off the ice. As Stars fans, we were absolutely spoiled by Modano, and I think sometimes as the years have gone by we've forgotten how rare it is to have an athlete of his caliber, personality and longevity. I certainly hope we will see another player in the same vein with the team in the near future, but I don't think any player will ever mean what Modano has meant to this franchise.
The Stars have posted the video in two parts, so here's the first part, with a speech by Ralph Strangis, the ceremonial signing of the contract, videos by Daryl Reaugh and the first part of Modano's speech. Get through it without getting choked up at least once, I dare you.
After the jump, the second part of the video, more stories about Modano's retirement and questions about goalie health in the Pacific Division.
- Richard Durrett talks to Modano's mother and father about coming up to the stage at the end of the press conference. The story also gives some context into why signing with the Detroit Red Wings last year was so meaningful for him - it gave him time with his family he hadn't had since he was 16. [ESPN Dallas]
- Mac Engel tells us why Modano is, bar none, the most important athlete in Dallas team sports history. [Star-Telegram.com]
- Jim Reeves thinks so too. [ESPN Dallas]
- Is Modano the most important American-born hockey player ever? The Hockey News' Ryan Kennedy thinks so. [Fox Sports]
- One of the most comprehensive article's on Modano's career, which includes a YouTube link to his always-amusing draft video that features stuttering and a mullet and the infamous stretcher drop. [Grantland.com]
- On to other things that will make you cry, this one an article from The (Vancouver) Province on the Stars sale. There are several factual misrepresentations in this article, including blatantly ignoring the fact that there are other interested bidders and that it has little to do with the market or the team as the Texas The Province] just went through, oh I don't know, the exact same thing, but it is how our friends north of the border view the situation. Honestly, it seems like it was mostly written to get in the shot at Gary Bettman at the end, but hey, it's his column. [
- Scouting the enemy part 1: Enigmatic Russian forward Evgeny Grachev is making a push for the season-opening roster with the St. Louis Blues. [St. Louis Game Time]
- Scouting the enemy part 2: An ownership group saddled with tons of debt rejecting a decent offer because it doesn't meet their absurd asking price? That doesn't sound familiar at all. [STLtoday.com]
- The San Jose Sharks have a hole at backup goalkeeper after Antero Niittymaki underwent hip surgery earlier this week. He's expected to miss about three months. [San Jose Mercury News]
- And speaking of goalie health, the Anaheim Ducks season might come down to whether or not Jonas Hiller can stay on the ice. [ESPN]