Monday, January 31, 2022

Mike Modano – An American Hockey Legend

Mike Modano is, undoubtedly, one of America’s finest hockey players of all time. For over 20 years, he led American hockey to some of its most remarkable achievements. He established unbreakable records in the National Hockey League(NHL).

Michael Thomas Modano Jr. was born on June 7, 1970, to Michael Sr. and Karen Modano in Livonia, Michigan. He grew up in Highland township, and because of his rebellious behavior at school, a friend of his father advised placing Modano in a team sport to help him gain control. Michael, Sr., a hockey enthusiast, chose to teach ice skating to Modano, who was seven years old at the time and quickly mastered the game and succeeded.

His early success led his family to relocate to Westland as a kid, and as a compliment to Ted Williams, a hero of his Boston Red Sox fan father, and the Red Wings’ own Gordie Howe, he chose the number nine for his jersey. When Modano turned 18, he was picked by the Minnesota North Stars as their #1 choice in the NHL entry draft. Mike was the second American player to be selected #1, Brain Lawson’s first in 1983.

Modano had to grind his way up in hockey before becoming an American great. He spent five years with Minnesota before the team relocated to Dallas soon before the 1993-94 season. He guided the stars in their pursuit for the most coveted prize in professional sports, the Stanley Cup, after only six years in Dallas. From 2002 until 2011, they made the playoffs every year. Modano was elected captain of the Dallas Stars in 2003 due to his leadership on and off the ice.

Modano scored his 502nd and 503rd regular-season goals in his career against the Nashville Predators in March 2007, breaking Joe Mullins’ NHL record for most goals scored by an American-born player. In November 2007, he tried to tie and break the record by scoring two goals in the opening five minutes of a game against the San Jose Sharks, with the record-breaker coming on a scoreless breakaway.

In addition to the two crucial NHL records, he has all of the offensive Dallas Stars franchise marks, including career points, goals, assists, and games played. His playoff record is equally outstanding, as he owns the marks for most playoff points, playoff goals, playoff assists, and most playoff games played.

Mike Modano is also a seven-time NHL All-Star. In 1996, 2004, 2005, he was a key player of Team USA in international competitions, winning a gold medal in the opening World Cup game in 1996. He was chosen to compete in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he guided the squad to a silver medal victory. His most recent participation was as captain of the USA Hockey Team in Tornio, Italy, in 2004.

In 2013, Modano married pro golfer Allison Micheletti, the daughter and niece of former NHL players Joe and Pat Micheletti; they have twins and a daughter and a son. After a spectacular 21-year career, his jersey was retired by the stars in 2014. He was voted one of the NHL’s best players in 2017.

Modano resigned from hockey and began a new chapter in his life, focusing on the Mike Modano Foundation. Modano left an indelible imprint on the league. And he also influenced an entire country. Modano, dubbed “Superman on Ice,” astounded many who witnessed him and inspired a new generation of American talent. Off the ice, he carries on that heritage with his charity efforts. Modano, a shining example of a real professional, inspired hockey, succeeded in the game and utilized his success to serve others.

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