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“FORMER DALLAS STAR  MODANO TO  SPEAK AT ‘OFF THE LEASH LUNCHEON’”

By P. J. Kennedy

            The sixth annual “Off The Leash Luncheon” to benefit Huskie Men’s Hockey will be held 6 November and will feature former Prince Albert Raider and National Hockey League standout, Mike Modano.  A certain Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, the all-time most productive American-born NHL performer, spent twenty-one of his twenty-two professional seasons with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars organization. He holds team records for most seasons, games played (1459), most goals (557), most assists (802), and most points (1359).  His number nine has been retired by both the Stars (2014) and the Western Hockey League’s   Prince Albert Raiders (2013).

During his three full major junior seasons with  the Raiders, the Livonia, Michigan native performed in 176 games and notched 118 goals with 176 assists for 294 points. In 1988 he was the number one overall pick in the NHL amateur draft, and signed by Minnesota. He played one more year in the “Dub” including selection to the East all-star team before making his professional debut in 1989-90. In his first season at “the show” he made the all rookie team.

The classy forward’s lifetime NHL numbers were outstanding, as he collected 561 goals, 813 assists, and 1374 points in 1499 games primarily with the Stars except for his final season which was spent with his home-state based Detroit Red Wings. A highlight in his two decade career was being part of the 1999 Dallas Stanley Cup winning team.

In  addition to winning a Stanley Cup,  Modano was selected to play in seven NHL all-star games and named special ambassador for an eighth as well as  represented the U.S. at the Olympics, World Cup, and other world championship  events. In total, he represented Team USA on eleven different occasions. He has won the USA Hockey Bob Johnson Award for excellence at international ice hockey competition.  Upon his retirement, he was the all-time American-born NHL leader in points, goals, playoff points, and games played by a forward.  In recognition of his on-ice accomplishments, the former Stars’ captain was a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and has been named a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

When he left the ice in retirement after the 2010-11 season, he returned to the Dallas area where he continues to give back to his community, primarily through the Mike Modano Foundation. This non-profit organization “exists to provide support and assistance to organizations, programs, and projects helping children, veterans, and canines in need of social, medical, educational or protective services.”  He has been honoured with the All Sports Association for the Children’s Medical Centre/Athlete Role Model Award as well as named Most Valuable Stars’ Player.  He has been spokesman for the Score a Goal in the Classroom’s “Teachers are the Real Heroes” campaign. The Texas resident has won the Tom Landry Award of Excellence in Volunteerism by United Cerebral Palsy and was nominated for an NHL Foundation Player Award.  Never forgetting his Michigan roots, his foundation supports the annual “Shoot for the Stars” game at the Mike Modano Arena in Michigan featuring former Red Wings players.  Over the past four years, this event has raised over $110,000. Mike Modano currently serves as Dallas Stars’ Executive Advisor and Alternate Governor.

In the tradition of previous “Off The Leash Luncheon” speakers (Wendel Clark, Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick, Paul Coffey, Mike Bossy, and Bryan Trottier), Mike Modano will inform and entertain participants who assemble at Prairieland Park beginning at 11:30 on 6 November. Corporate tables start at $1250. and individual tickets are $125. each. For more information, contact PICATIC or any member of the “Off The Leash Luncheon” committee. Former NHLer Mike Modano will be assisted by returning funnyman emcee Kelly Taylor in providing  participants with an event not to be forgotten.

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