For many of us who grew up as Dallas Stars fans, it's impossible to imagine an NHL without Mike Modano.
After Modano announced his retirement around noon, the hockey media went into overdrive writing retrospectives of his career. Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas put together a nice article not only talking to Modano about his decision but also talking to others about about what Modano meant to the game.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, one of a generation of American players who grew up watching Modano, had this to say.
"He's a guy I looked up to ever since I came into the league. Before I even played a game in the NHL, he's the first person I met because I did something with him in New York regarding the past, present and future of USA Hockey. It was cool to meet him there when I was 18 years old. He'll always be someone I look up to."
And Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk, who both played with Modano and was in the uncomfortable position of having to let him walk last summer, said he had good memories of when they were teammates.
"He made me a better player because I wanted to push myself to be a good No. 2 center playing behind him," Nieuwendyk said. "What he's meant for the city and for USA Hockey speaks for itself. In his prime, he was the best player I've played with. He had a wonderful career."
After the jump, much more reaction to Modano's decision, catching up with the rest of training camp and the first boneheaded illegal check of the season. That mean's hockey's really started, right?
- There are lots of Modano retrospectives out there today and there are sure to be more this weekend, but I really enjoyed this one from long-time writer Kevin Allen, who has seen Modano since he was a mullet-headed teenager. He has several amusing quotes from Modano and this anecdote that might make long-time Stars fans laugh: "Modano has told me with great amusement that [former coach Bob] Gainey would call him into his office for meetings and the two would mostly sit in silence as they waited for the other to speak." [USA Today]
- Another nice national take on Modano, his legacy and the last few years of his career. Bonus points for some unintentional comedy quotes from Brenden Morrow midway through the article. [Yahoo Sports]
- Never have I been more annoyed with the Morning News' paywall. Mike Heika writes about how Modano was critical in the Stars finding a place in the heart of Dallas, but you have to subscribe to the paper to read it. [DallasNews.com]
- On the free part of the DMN, however, is this quick little interview where Modano expounds on some of the things he will almost certainly touch on during the press conference Friday. [DallasNews.com]
- There's also more from ESPN Dallas. The first is Modano reflecting on the earliest days of the Stars in Texas, and the second is reaction from former teammates with an anecdote from Steve Ott that reminded me he's still a pretty young guy. [ESPN Dallas/ESPN Dallas]
- Finally, the last Modano article I'll bring you is from Puck Daddy, which I think does a nice job summarizing just why he can be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic. [Puck Daddy]
- What, you say there is hockey to be played tonight? Huh. Well in that vein, Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas summarizes his thoughts from watching the Stars' camp up on Prince Edward Island. I like a lot of what he has to say, as he goes a little more in depth into new coach Glen Gulutzan's all-encompassing attention to detail and gives us his impressions of some of the new players. [ESPN Dallas]
- For those of you who missed it when it was linked in the comments of a few stories yesterday, here's a compelling first-person account of the life of an enforcer from former Star Brent Severyn. He recounts some of the more memorable moments in his career while talking about the immense physical and mental pressure he was under at the time. [Sports Illustrated]
- Scouting the enemy: Mile High Hockey breaks down the depth chart at Colorado Avalanche. Several of the guys at the lower end will be playing Dallas tonight, but they will also be trying to earn another few days in camp. [Mile High Hockey]
- Finally, in another sign that hockey season has well and truly started, we have our first "to suspend or not suspend" decision, this time involving noted bonehead Jody Shelley, now of the Philadelphia Flyers. It's the first real test for new discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, because this is a combination of boarding and checking from behind that got Shelley tossed from the game. [NHL.com]