Starting at 3:30PM, there was already a vast amount of avid Stars fans waiting along the velvet ropes for the “Kia Victory Green Carpet.” The Green Carpet was an event that occurred prior to the Modano jersey ceremony outside of the American Airlines Center. This allowed for fans to take pictures with, and get autographs of Dallas Stars alumni, coaches, and managers who made up the 1999 Stanley Cup Dallas Stars team. Fans were supporting Dallas Stars jerseys as far as the eye could see. The majority made up of Modano jerseys, however there were a few stray jerseys of other players; I even saw a Sean Avery jersey! ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Belfour was welcomed by “Eddie” chants among the crowd. Even former owner, Tom Hicks, was welcomed to a few cheers (although mostly vicious boo’s).
Upon seeing former Dallas Stars players such as Brett Hull, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Derian Hatcher, fans entered the American Airlines Center to catch the main event.
Following a few inspirational, and highly emotional, video montages, Ralph and Razor commenced the event on center ice on stage. They stood at center ice along with the 1999 Dallas Stars, Mike Modano’s parents, former coaches, wife, in-laws, and other significant figures.
Mike Modano entered the ice being greeted by two lines of minor league hockey players and a roaring applause.
Modano’s speech consisted of thanks for his family, teammates, and most importantly his former coaches that helped him reach his successes. Modano also spoke highly of his time in Prince Albert, where he played for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in Canada. He noted this for being the significant reason as to his future successes in the NHL. Modano also spoke highly of his time in Minnesota with the Minnesota Northstars, which touched close to home with the fans of the visiting Minnesota Wild.
Modano kept his composure for most of the speech, however, whenever he was choked for words, the support of the screaming fans allowed him to finish his speech.
The raising of the jersey brought teers and cheers to the crowd, and showed the final ascension of Mike Modano’s amazing career in the NHL.
Throughout the game there were several shoutout videos from other athletes ranging from Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Nolan Ryan, Dirk Nowitzki, and even Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith.
After the game there was a post-game celebration in which the Dallas Stars unveiled a new trophy for the franchise named after Mike Modano for the leading scoring of the Dallas Stars. With the names of players who have completed this feat in the past, Mike Modano’s name appeared 11 times on the trophy.
Mike Modano’s jersey retirement ceremony reminded fans of not only the Dallas Stars, but the NHL as a whole that Modano will go down as the greatest American to play hockey, and puts him at the top of the list of the bests to ever play the game.