Goodbye Mo: Mike Modano Plays a Brilliant Last Game in Dallas

In a horrible, frustrating season for the Dallas Stars & the hockey faithful in Dallas, it’s wonderful to go out like this, to have this one perfect night. I haven’t been so happy about & wanted so much for my team to win a game that has absolutely no playoff bearing, ever. But I was literally jumping up & down in my apartment when Mike Modano potted that goal in the shootout & Jere Lehtinen capped it off. The perfect goodbye.

If Mike Modano does retire after this season—and how can he not now after the best send-off imaginable?—it will be with every offensive record for the franchise securely locked in & of course, it will be as the highest scoring American hockey player & as one of the true ambassadors for the game in unconventional, Southern markets. It can’t have been easy, all those years as the face (literally) of a franchise trying to thrive, of a sport on ice in 110 degree Dallas, Texas. It’s partially because of the tremendous success of hockey in Dallas that there has been hockey in Southern California, Nashville, Phoenix, Carolina, Florida.

The best part of Mike’s perfect night, besides the assist & goal (questionable as it was, there’s just no way the refs or Toronto would dare overturn it on a night like this, in a building like that) & shootout goal, the best part was watching Mike’s face light up when Jere Lehtinen, his linemate of all these years, potted the winner. In that moment, you might actually see him coming back after all, because he’s just having too much fun to stop now.

But when the summer comes & he looks back on the last few years, with the team trying to rebuild & not close at the moment to another Cup, I imagine he’ll make the right choice & call it a career. I was proud to be a Dallas hockey fan tonight, to see that amazing standing ovation at the AAC in the middle of the game that just went on & on, until they had to stop the clock & wait. Mike Modano in tears on the bench, his teammates & the Anaheim players, tapping their sticks in recognition & respect, & that ovation, that love that just kept going & going until he was finally able to raise his hand, thank the fans, return their love.

Sorry, I only meant to write a short little paragraph about this, I swear. Sports brings out the sap in me.

Thank you, Mo. See you when your number goes up.

-Amy Yen


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