Stars Unveil Modano Statue

Mike Modano statue outside the American Airlines Center
Mike Modano statue outside the American Airlines Center | Image by Dallas Stars/Facebook

The Dallas Stars paid tribute to a franchise legend on Saturday, unveiling a statue of former team captain Mike Modano outside the American Airlines Center during their game against the Los Angeles Kings.

The original plan was to unveil the statue at PNC Plaza outside the arena in a public ceremony a few hours before the game, but the weather postponed the unveiling until the first intermission.

“It’s hard to put into words what this has meant,” Modano said as he addressed the crowd after a standing ovation. “Thirty years ago, we got on a plane in 1993 to come here [when the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas] and didn’t know what to expect. Five years later, we gave you a Stanley Cup in 1999. … We feel we’ve turned Dallas into a hockey town.”

The statue depicts Modano skating down the ice with two hands on his stick as he carries the puck in a pose that Dallas fans grew accustomed to during his time with the team.

“I looked great,” Modano told the media of the statue. “I hadn’t seen it — no sneak peeks or anything, so it looked great. That was the photo we chose, and we all came into agreement on that one. … It turned out great.”

With the unveiling, Modano became one of a small group of Dallas athletes who have received the honor, including Hall-of-Famers Dirk Nowitzki and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. Nowitzki’s Mavericks statue is near Modano’s.

Modano is among the most accomplished American hockey players in the game’s history, scoring the most goals and points of any American skater. He is also the franchise’s leader in most offensive statistics after playing 20 of his 21 NHL seasons with the club and leading it to its only Stanley Cup title in 1999.

However, he said he was most proud of the work he did off the ice in the Dallas and North Texas communities.

“You think about legacy and what you’ve achieved on the ice, but what we’ve accomplished off the ice with the kids playing the game and the growth of hockey in Texas is a lot more important and a lot more satisfying than what we did on the ice,” Modano explained.

The Stars beat the Kings 4-1 after erupting for four goals through the first two periods. Dallas (41-19-9) will continue its five-game homestand against the Arizona Coyotes (28-35-5) at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

“They’ve got a great young team here and a lot of skill,” Modano added. “I think they’re going to make some noise here this spring and maybe make a run for it.”

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