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Continued: Mike Modano's number goes to the rafters

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 8, 2014 - 1:49 PM

Sydor was a groomsman in Modano’s first wedding, to Willa Ford. Sydor kiddingly said he wasn’t allowed to be in Modano’s second wedding, to pro golfer Allison Micheletti.

“I was bad luck,” Sydor joked. Allison, the daughter of former Gopher and NHL standout Joe Micheletti, is due in July with the couple’s first children.

That’s right, children. “Twins,” Modano said, excitedly.

Off the beach

Sydor, a defenseman for Dallas for eight seasons, gravitated to Modano the moment he was traded there from Los Angeles in 1996. He was Modano’s seat partner on airplanes, making certain the ultra-laid-back Modano had his seat belt on and phone off.

“Mike’s a pretty relaxed guy,” Sydor said. “I remember one time I’m sitting beside him and he was just out of it in his locker. I was like, ‘Mike, where are you right now?’ He said, ‘Just on a beach in Cabo.’ I said, ‘Well, you know what? We’ve got another period here, why don’t you come back to Dallas and let’s win this game?’ ”

Modano, laughing, said, “Darryl always had to get me off the beach and say, ‘This is reality.’ I’d be like, ‘Can I get a moment here and drink my margarita. I’ll be back in a minute.’ ”

It’s impressive a player who could zone out like that could score 561 career goals and 1,374 career points. Modano scored 50 goals in the first season (1993-94) in Dallas after the team moved from Minnesota.

“He had a different way of going about things, but when the intensity of a game picked up, nobody picked up his game more,” Sydor said. “He was the Troy Aikman of hockey in Dallas.”

Minnesota start

And not only did Modano shape hockey in an non-traditional market such as Dallas, he became the face of the North Stars.

“I remember I was sitting in the stands one night with my wife and there was a 5-on-3 for the North Stars,” Nanne said.

“Bob Gainey never put Modano out on the power play because he was upset with him for something.

“After the power play, this guy stands up, comes over to me and screams, ‘I pay money to see Modano, not those other guys. If you’re not going to play him, I’m going home.’ ”

Nanne said with a big laugh, “So, he left!”

Modano said, “It still blows my mind what the people in Minnesota think of me. It was a special five years. I’ll never forget how that town went crazy for the North Stars that spring and summer in ’91. Such a special place, such a special franchise.”


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