Mike Modano had one of the most accomplished NHL careers of any American-born player. He went from being the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 draft to a first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.
Over the course of his 21-year career, Modano was named to the All-Star team eight times and led the Dallas Stars to their only Stanley Cup title to date in 1998-99. His 1,374 career points are the second-most in NHL history by an American-born player.
With the NHL postseason set to begin this weekend, Modano sat down with B/R to answer questions about the playoffs, how Connor McDavid compares to him and many other topics in an AMA.
The following is the full transcript from the AMA session.
@mbruno613 Who's the current guy in the league with a game most similar to your own?
I like to think Connor is a lot like me. I love his game and like watching him. I was always a fan of Sid and MacKinnon. Anze Kopitar was a guy in L.A I loved watching. As far as getting people out of their seats it's Connor and Nathan MacKinnon.
@theking30 Who's winning the cup this year?
It's a tough call. It's so hard with hockey to throw a team out there. I'd go with Tampa because of last year and they look just as strong. Out west, Vegas and Colorado are two teams with a chance of winning. Those are my three picks. I think for game reasons, it would be neat to see Minnesota surprising people and maybe taking out one of those teams, but we know our hands full with those two teams.
@just_in_time How did your cameo in Mighty Ducks come about? Did you think the movie would turn into a classic for sports fans?
Not at the least. I feel like it was this thing that had a life of its own and we never thought it would turn into this. I think I was probably 18-19 at the time and we went on strike for 5-6 days before the playoffs. They were in town and they shot a few scenes at our home games live. They reached out to myself and Basil McRae to film and we never knew at the time, what we would be into 430 years later, still talking about it. It's gotten to this point where kids know me more for the ducks movie then for playing. I don't know if it's good or sad. I'm connected to disney for the rest of my life.
@dana_grey What's the biggest change in the game that you see now compared to your playing time?
Aw man I think just the interference, the clutch and grab was such a big part of our game defensively. There really wasn't as much speed back then. Today's game is just a drag race, up and down hockey. It's fast-paced and everybody can move….The goaltenders are all above 6'2"-6'3". Goalies were always 6 ft or shorter back then and not very athletic. Now it's really kind of a switch where they're all great athletes.
@anthonyrossi16 Which player did you model your game after or look up to?
Umm...I guess when I was going into my mid-teenage years (14-16) I was a big fan of Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman...I was a big Maple Leafs fan coming to Detroit. Was a big Darryl Sittler fan, Lanny McDonald. Was great watching a lot of Montreal and Toronto games….I was asked to change my game...it was really a lot of fun to compete with those teams.
@not_chadhenne Why No. 9 and does it have a meaning?
My dad was a Boston Bruin and Red Sox fan. Was a big Ted Williams fan. He moved to Detroit so obviously Gordie Howe. I think my second year of organized hockey I got No. 9 and it seemed like it worked out every year as I got to a new level and new team where whoever had that number moved on or didn't have it. I was lucky to have it for a long time.
@loppy27 What unique challenges came with the relocation of the Stars?
I think it was kind of educating a lot of people who haven't seen the game. Knew we had a lot of transplant fans from up north/northeast so we used our advertising to recruit new fans. Technology is new today than it was from the 90's. Back then we thought if we could get fans to the arena we would be able to get them hooked. We brought a whole new set of fans who loved to watch it live. Now it's been there for 50 years and it's a great thing to be a part of, to see what the organization has grown to today.
@______ Which athletes belong on the Mt. Rushmore of Dallas sports?
Dirk. Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman. Michael Young or Pudge Rodriguez for baseball maybe. Hockey and basketball are easy, the other two are pretty tough.
@McKeggforHart Should the goal have counted? (you know which goal)
Yea i know which goal. I think it was a tough one to call live, there was a lot of mayhem that came in after that goal was scored. I think the one argument was that Brett backed up into the crease with the puck with possession...that was the gray area there. I think Buffalo fans like to think he was there before the puck got there. ...it was inches away from my stick though. I was inches from glory and Brett took it away from me too.
@Jibble What thoughts were going through your head as the final seconds of the Stanley Cup ticked down? Were you in disbelief?
It just happened so fast, that night was so long. We just wanted to get it over with. If we did lose, let's get back to game 7. The goaltending - Hasek, Belfour played amazing. When it was over, it was a sense of relief that someone had won. Very thankful that it was us. I don’t think we would've been able to put a whole lineup on for game 7. we were banged up pretty good. Just flashes come to your head about that moment. The pressure of needing to deliver a championship was over and emotionally, no one could calm me down. I was crying for 2 hours.
Can you talk to me about this Ultimate Hockey Hangout and how fans can enter to win?
They have a couple opportunities: twitter, upload a photo/video and say why you're one of hockey's biggest fans or order a Little Caesars pizza. Proud to partner with these two companies that I've grown up on. It's been great working with Little Caesars and Pepsi.