Of course there were tears.
One of the things that made Mike Modano so unique as an athlete was his willingness to express his emotions. Every time he accomplished one of the milestones during his remarkable career and he was saluted by the crowd, you'd see his eyes well up. The cheers really meant something to him.
So it's no surprise that there were tears again Monday evening when Modano was officially inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Dallas. He welled up at several instances throughout his speech to the crowd.
He bookended the speech talking about why he got into hockey. As a kid, apparently, Modano was a little bit of a hellion with too much energy for his own good. A friend suggested hockey to his parents as a potential outlet and a match made in sports heaven was born.
My favorite part of the speech was his close.
"My parents were looking to find me an outlet. I think we found a lot more than that."
Also in today's links, more on Modano's big night, the notable names who were and weren't in attendance and focus group fallout.
- As you might expect, there were a lot of articles about Modano the past few days. I particularly like the anecdotes from the Ludwig twin boys in this one. [ESPN.com]
- The longest speech award didn't go to Modano, however. That honor went to Eddie Olczyk, who had several stops around the league in 16 NHL seasons and made nine appearances for the US national team. [Chicago Tribune]
- The third member of the class was New Jersey Devils czar Lou Lamoriello, who was amusingly already in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. [NHL.com]
- Former Stars owner and North Stars fans scapegoat Norm Green was also in attendance, and he has no regrets for taking the Stars down south. [DallasNews.com]
- In a true "take that as you will" moment, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Donald Fehr were scheduled to be in attendance at the ceremony but declined at the last minute to head for the labor negotiations that are scheduled to take place today. [ESPN.com]
- The lockout is a giant thorn in the side of all NHL fans, but the folks down with the Texas Stars are trying to make the best of it. [Cedar Park-Leander Statesman]
- And speaking of those Texas Stars, the folks up in Edmonton are still a little bitter about how from the Cam Barker experiment went for the Edmonton Oilers. [Edmonton Journal]
- In other minor-league news, the Texas Brahmas have been sold to a local ownership group. [DallasNews.com]
- Of all the people who have a right to be royally irked over the Deadspin-leaked NHL focus group documents, the folks over at Puck Daddy might have the best case since some of the material was blatantly plagiarized from one of their stories. [Puck Daddy]
- Who's going to make the next offer in the great CBA cold war? Scuttlebutt, at least on Twitter, is that the NHLPA is working on an offer, but this article suggest the NHL might put it's next proposal on the table soon. [Philly.com]
- Because you need a smile after more lockout sadness, I present to you a great summary of a website you should visit for all your cute hockey player with puppy (and sometimes kitty) needs. [Backhand Shelf]
- The Stars put together a lovely video compilation of Modano's night at the USHHOF induction, completely with a good chunk of his speech. It's about eight minutes long and well worth your time.