Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mike Modano

Sent: 8/29/11
Received: 9/19/11
Time: 21 Days
Address: Home
Item Sent: 1991-92 Score Canadian, 1991-92 Score Canadian "The Franchise," 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Retro, 8x10 photograph
Item Received: 1991-92 Score Canadian, 1991-92 Score Canadian "The Franchise," 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Retro, 8x10 photograph.  All signed in blue Sharpie.

Wow.  This is one of the greatest returns I've had.  Near the end of the 2009-10 NHL season, it was announced that the Dallas Stars would not bring back Mike Modano.  Modano, the future Hall of Fame center and the highest scoring U.S.-born player in league history, had been the face of the franchise since their final days as the Minnesota North Stars.  It was widely believed Modano would retire following the season.  The Stars' final game just happened to be against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Center -- in front of the same fans, in the same state where Modano began his career.  During the game, the Wild showed a wonderful career highlight reel on the scoreboard, which left Modano visibly overcome with emotion.  Following the game, a Wild victory which had brought out many old-school North Stars fans wearing Modano jerseys and displaying "thanks for the memories" signs, Modano waved to the crowd.  He ducked back into the tunnel.  When the Stars of the Game were announced he was predictably number one.  I don't know that anyone in the place was expecting him to skate back out wearing a Minnesota North Stars jersey, though.  It was the first time that sweater had hit the NHL ice since the North Stars lost the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins (they switched to a more modern black and green motif the following season, a precursor to the Dallas Stars era).  I don't think there was a dry eye in the house, including Modano.  I know there wasn't a dry eye in my house.  I was letting tears of joy flow without shame.  It was such a cool moment.  It's almost too bad Modano didn't actually retire.  Anyway, I've had this image sitting around for quite some time, and finally wrote to Mr. Modano a few weeks ago.  I was taking a chance by sending three cards as well, but I needed them for the two sets I'm working on, so I gave it a shot.  Mike nicely signed everything in blue Sharpie.  It's even his real signature, from his Dallas home (it's well documented that anything sent to his Michigan home is actually signed by his mother)!

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