Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mike Modano Jersey Card

The Dallas Stars overhauled everything they could this off-season: they let backup goalie Antti Niemi go and replaced him with two-time Vezina Trophy nominee Ben Bishop; they let oft-injured right winger Ales Hemsky test free agency (and, ultimately, sign with the Montréal Canadiens) and signed the Habs' best player, Alexander Radulov instead; they went and took Marc Methot - one of the best defensive defensemen in the game - off the Vegas Golden Knights' hands; they did not renew head coach Lindy Ruff's contract, instead picking up Ken Hitchcock, who was behind the bench for the franchise's lone Stanley Cup in 1999, with Ruff on the losing side of that, too; the only "not-win" they have on their summer report card is signing slow-footed Martin Hanzal essentially to replace Cody Eakin. Hanzal almost single-handedly cost the Minnesota Wild first place after a trade deadline deal last year, and didn't do much when they were eliminated in the playoffs either.

All those moves lead me to believe they might take a while to assimilate Hitchcock's system and gel, but that by entering the playoffs as a Wild Card team, they could do like the Nashville Predators last year and make their way to the Stanley Cup Final, perhaps even beating the Tampa Bay Lightning while they're there.

I like this team a lot more than I did the Cup-winning 1999 edition, who had players I didn't like too much at the time (Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Brett Hull, captain and bruising defenseman Derian Hatcher, Pat Verbeek, Mike Keane), but a few guys I did respect a lot (Mike Modano, Brian Skrudland, Jere Lehtinen, Darryl Sydor, Dave Reid, Craig Ludwig, Benoît Hogue), and one guy I loved (Guy Carbonneau). I did prefer the Stars winning over Dominik Hasek and the Buffalo Sabres, though.

This time around, there are so many players I like. Sure, the new guys Methot, Radulov and Bishop are awesome, but so is Cup-deserving veteran Jason Spezza, captain Jamie Benn, star center Tyler Seguin, bruiser Antoine Roussel, and defensemen John Klingberg, Dan Hamhuis, and Julius Honka.

If they want to, they can ask Modano for guidance at any time, because he works for the team as its alternate governor as well as in advisory role.

Despite playing out his final season with his hometown Detroit Red Wings, he'll always be the Original Dallas Star to me, which is why I'm such a big fan of card #M-26 from In The Game's 2012-13 Decades - The 1990s set and Game-Used Jersey sub-set:
It depicts him wearing the team's original (in every sens of the word) star-shaped jersey and features a fairly big white game-worn jersey swatch.

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