Modano a Hall-of-Famer in Many Ways


To see Mike Modano in Toronto is to see a man in his element. He knows this place. He knows the best restaurants, the best hotels and he seems to know all four million people in this hockey city. To see Mike Modano at the Air Canada Centre is to see a man who has spent as much time at hockey rinks as any human on the planet, he is very comfortable there. To see Mike Modano in the Hockey Hall of Fame is to see a man who feels uncomfortable, uncertain and unworthy. He must be the only first ballot Hall-of-Famer ever to feel that way.

That is who Mike Modano is, a humble super star.

I was fortunate enough to spend induction weekend with Mo in Toronto. We spoke to his mom and dad at length about what this meant to them. photoUltimately, they concluded that it was the final chapter in the hockey career of their son and they are sad because they miss it terribly. Mike’s dad remembered fondly the car trips all over the US and Canada to play hockey. He remembered the trips to Prince Albert where Mike played Juniors. From Detroit that was a three hour flight to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and then a ninety miles trip north to PA as it is known in Junior Hockey. Mo’s dad said the road from Saskatoon to Prince Albert was always icy and sometime it would take hours just to finish that leg of the trip. Mike tears up anytime he talks about how much he appreciates his parents. That is who Mike Modano is, a loving son.

We talked to Mike’s wife Allison. This former star of the Golf Channel’s Big Break never saw her husband play hockey. Since her dad Joe Micheletti is a former NHL player and current broadcaster of the New York Rangers, she had heard of Mo. But she was not familiar with his work. She says their first date was playing golf together, they only played nine holes that day, she thinks it might be because she was beating her future husband at the turn. She is totally comfortable in her role as the mother of their twins, but Mike has all but insisted that she pursue her career as a professional golfer. He says he had a chance to follow his dream and he wants her to be able to do the same, even if it means that he is Mr. Mom for a while. That is who Mike Modano is, a supportive husband.

photo[2]We interviewed Mike multiple times over the course of the weekend, we even got a chance to show him his Hall of Fame Plaque for the first time. Doing all those interviews with Mo reminded me of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. When the Stars made two runs at Lord Stanley’s Cup we followed them every step of the way. There were plenty of days when we would interview Mike after a morning skate, then we would do a pre-game interview with him and of course we had to interview him after the game. I remember saying at the time that Mo is the only super star athlete who would tolerate that much media time. That is who Mike Modano is, a patient purveyor of the game.

I rarely use this space for self promotion but allow me to boast about Fox Sports SW. We are the only media outlet in North America that went to Toronto to cover Mo’s induction. We got great stuff and on December 6th we will present a program called Spotlight: Mike Modano – Hall-of-Famer. Watch this program or set you DVR so you can find out more about who Mike Modano really is.

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John Rhadigan has called Texas home for nearly 25 years, having spent 11 years at NBC 5 as a sports reporter/anchor and 13 years as an anchor at Fox Sports SW. Rhadigan is the recipient of more than a dozen Emmy Awards for sports reporting and anchoring.


  1. Thank you John Radigan for going with FSSW staff to Toronto. Mike deserves this coverage. And thank you for writing this great piece about who he is. I think for all of us who have watched the Stars for years, most of that is pretty evident. But it is nice to see someone who knows him write it. And John, you are one of my most favorite reporters too. We have recently moved from Dallas to Colorado Springs and we have Directv’s sports package but that means we sometimes get the FSSW shows here, and sometimes not. I will be looking for that special and hope I get to see it. We even have the NHL GameCenter package so we can watch all the Stars games even while in Colorado! Thanks!

  2. I truly enjoyed watching Mike in Minneapolis, and was CRUSHED when the North Stars relocated to Dallas. I went to the Xcel Energy Center for the first NHL Neutral Site game when the Dallas Stars came to town. I used an Easton stick and gloves because that’s what Mike wore.

    He’s my first-ballot Favorite Player, and a real classy guy. Congrats on the HOF election.

    For those of us in the Midwest, I hope you will have a video stream of the Mo broadcast.

    Eric in South Dakota

  3. Great stuff, John! Mike Modano is not only a Dallas Stars icon, but an icon of American hockey. And he did it all the right way. And even though his mom and dad no longer get to share in their son’s hockey career, the torch will be passed from Mike to his kids as they pursue their hopes and dreams in the coming years. That’s the way it should be. Congrats to Mike on an outstanding career and a big thanks for allowing the rest of us the privilege of watching him play for so long. What a joy that was!

  4. John, thanks for being there for Mike. I lived in Dallas a long time and had season tickets to the Stars. I also watched you on the news for years and even called the station when you were gone to find out where you went. I can’t wait for the special to come on. Mike deserved this and yes he is a real person and down to earth. I lost a dear friend and she died at AA center. When Mike and the stars found out they went to work. The Stars send a beautiful wreath and Mike wrote a letter since he was her favorite player. That shows someone with a big heart and her friends will never forget that. He is a great man.


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