Wild assistant coach Wilson appreciates Modano's tribute

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2014 - 11:09 PM

Mike Modano had nice things to say about Wild assistant coach Rick Wilson during a tribute to Modano on Saturday night.

One of the most touching moments of Mike Modano’s speech as he had his No. 9 retired before Saturday’s Stars-Wild game was when he talked about Wild assistant coach Rick Wilson.

When Modano was a teenager, Wilson recruited him to come to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and play in the Western Hockey League. He scored 127 points in 1987-88 and became the No. 1 overall pick by the North Stars in the 1988 draft.

“I don’t think I’d be who I am or did what I did without him finding me and taking me up to Prince Albert,” Modano said. “You look back and wonder what life would have been without that decision.”

After Modano uttered Wilson’s name Saturday, tears welled in his eyes. He needed a moment to gather himself. Wilson, with his wife, Carol, at his side, “was humbled.”

“We have a long history and a very good relationship,” said Wilson, who coached Modano with the Raiders, North Stars and Stars. “I know it was heartfelt from his point and I received it the same way.”

Modano tweaked his speech about eight times, including a final draft Saturday afternoon.

“It was tough every time I came back to Rick’s page and looked at what he meant,” Modano said. “He meant the world to me in my career and my life. I really thought I’d stick around and go off to college, but he was instrumental in a lot of things in my life in getting me to Canada. I did the math, maybe 30 years I’ve known the guy. Yeah, when it came around to him, I knew I’d have some trouble.”

Wilson said Prince Albert was Modano’s first taste of life on his own.

“I probably took the place of what he was used to,” Wilson said. “Although, you coach and have to be hard, but there was a trust factor that was built.”

Ballard scratched

One night after his turnover led to Erik Cole’s late third-period winning goal in Dallas, veteran defenseman Keith Ballard was scratched for Nate Prosser Sunday against St. Louis.

“That was determined before we played the game [in Dallas],” coach Mike Yeo insisted. “So the play that happened had no relevance on this decision.”

Yeo wasn’t fibbing. He told reporters before Saturday’s game that there was a “good chance” Prosser would play Sunday, and with Clayton Stoner the Wild’s most physical defenseman, it’s doubtful he would have sat against the Blues’ big, aggressive forwards.

Hullabaloo over Haula

Rookie center Erik Haula wasn’t disciplined for barreling into Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. Haula, who was tripped by the Stars’ Cody Eakin, was assessed a charging major and game misconduct. The Stars tied the score on the five-minute power play.

Frustrated that his goaltender sustained a concussion, Stars coach Lindy Ruff called it a “dirt play” by a “fourth-liner.”

“We’re not looking to run the goaltender by any means,” Yeo said. “We want to be aggressive to the net, taking pucks there, driving there with and without the puck. It was unfortunate the way things happened, but when I look at it again, I’m not sure what else he can do. You don’t want a player to bail out and not try to score a goal in that situation.”

Haula, the Gophers’ leading scorer the past two seasons, scored a shorthanded goal earlier in the game and coincidentally talked Saturday morning about his fourth-line and penalty-killing role with the Wild.

“You’ve got to always start somewhere,” Haula said Saturday. “I love my role on the team. I’ve accepted it and try to make the most of it every night.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 39 3rd Qtr
Phoenix 56
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 2 2nd Prd 17:48
Los Angeles 2
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 52 2nd Half 5:01
Arizona 75
Air Force 56 2nd Half 4:20
San Jose St 46
Stanford 29 1st Half 2:28
Washington 22
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 42 2nd Half 4:12
UNLV 66

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close