Mike Modano As Seen By His Contemporaries

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Flashy, skilled and handsome, Mike Modano altered the geography of hockey interest in the United States. Arguably the greatest American-born pro hockey player of all time began his career in the hockey-mad state of Minnesota after going number one overall in the NHL draft. Fast and gifted on offense, his jersey famously flapping behind him, Modano put up good numbers early on but developed a reputation for being soft; for being irresponsible defensively; and for being unwilling to do what it takes to win a championship. In proving his critics wrong, Modano would first be asked to serve as the face of a franchise when the team moved to Dallas; and later, when challenged by his coaches, Modano fundamentally changed his game to become a complete player. Not only was he the ambassador of hockey in a football town, not only did he play against the opponent's top line night in and night out, but he did it with the kind of grit and determination Texas sports fans love and admire, and he helped bring the franchise its first Stanley Cup. In the process he became iconic of hockey, not just in Texas but in rinks across the United States.

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