Mike Modano won a Stanley Cup, was the top choice in the NHL draft, played in the Olympics, scored more goals and points than any American player and had his number retired.
But his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday “obviously trumps them all.”
“This is the one thing that, once you retire, you wonder if you had a big enough impact on the game … to get this call,” said Modano, 44. “It lingers in the back of your mind.
“This is the ultimate recognition for a player to ever have or ever get amongst his peers. It’s the tops, no question.”
Joining Modano in the Class of 2014 at the Hall in Toronto are former players Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Rob Blake; the late coach Pat Burns; and former referee Bill McCreary.
Modano, a center who had a 22-year NHL career, was the first pick in the 1988 draft by the Minnesota North Stars. He played four seasons for the North Stars (1989-93) before the team moved to Dallas. Modano had his lone 50-goal season in 1993-94 and helped the Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup title. He played 21 of his seasons for the Stars franchise before a final, injury-riddled season in Detroit.
The native of Livonia, Mich., had 561 goals and 1,374 points.
“I was fortunate to be involved in a great game for a long time, with great people along the way,” Modano said. “Without their help and loyalty, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Hasek won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender six times and was the league’s MVP in 1997 and 1998 while playing with Buffalo. He won Stanley Cups with Detroit in 2002 and 2008 and an Olympic gold medal in 1998 for the Czech Republic.
Forsberg won the 2003 Hart Trophy (MVP) with Colorado, where he and Blake won a Stanley Cup in 2001. They both also won Olympic gold medals — Forsberg in 1994 and 2006 with Sweden, and Blake in 2002 with Canada.
Burns, who coached the New Jersey Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup title, died of cancer at 58 in 2010. The police officer-turned-hockey coach won the Adams Trophy as the NHL’s top coach with three teams: Toronto, Montreal and Boston.
McCreary was an official for nearly 2,000 games, including 282 playoff games, from 1984 until he worked his last game on April 2, 2011.
The six will be inducted on Nov. 14 in Toronto.