Mike Modano is aware of a factor or two about hockey.
The Hockey Hall of Famer suited up for 21 NHL seasons the place he notched 1,374 factors (561 targets and 813 assists) in 1,499 video games for the North Stars/Stars and Red Wings. His targets and factors whole sits atop the listing amongst American-born gamers.
NHL PLAYOFFS 2021: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels for every series
He additionally is aware of a factor or two about successful. In 1999, he potted 23 factors within the playoffs to steer the Stars to the franchise’s lone Stanley Cup. And he is gained an Olympic silver medal (2002) and was a member of the upset-wielding American squad on the 1996 World Cup.
But does he know something about interior design? That will quickly be decided because the Minnesota Wild’s govt advisor has teamed up with Little Caesars and Pepsi for one hockey fan to get an Ultimate Hockey Hangout designed by him. The contest runs from now until June 8.
So, will the man who was the equal of the high-quality arts on the ice have the identical aesthetic in decor? That is to be decided. But, till then, Sporting News not too long ago caught up with Modano to speak on a quantity of matters together with adorning, USA Hockey and the Wild’s postseason probabilities.
Editor’s word: The dialog has been edited for size and readability.
Sporting News: What are your design plans and is it gonna be like lots of [the Dallas Stars color] Victory Green?
Mike Modano: The hangout in all probability, [will be] very plush, very massive and cozy. I’m undecided about Victory Green; might need somewhat inexperienced and crimson and black in there with the Wild. But yeah, I’m pondering outsized sofa cozy, good pizza hotter and Pepsi within the fridge and possibly a bubble hockey for between intervals. We’ll give you one thing fairly neat.
SN: Do you do have a sort of place like this in your own home to observe hockey video games?
MM: I used to until I had youngsters. Now it is like makeshift. So I gotta get the comfortable sofa in there however I’m lacking all of the enjoyable stuff that I used to have: coolers and microwaves and hotter ovens in my little TV rooms. Now it is lots of toys and Hot Wheels I’m stepping on and the whole lot so it variety of will get loud. I attempt to enterprise off into someplace I can cover and truly, our bedrooms changed into our TV room now, so at the least I can lock the door.
SN: You’ve performed in a shortened season again in 1995 so that you variety of know what it is prefer to have this condensed schedule somewhat bit. And there have been no followers, and nonetheless none in Canada. Does this all impression the playoffs?
MM: Yeah, trigger you’re feeling prefer it’s somewhat bit of a drag race. Usually, in an 82-game season, you’ll be able to variety of have your ups and downs and nonetheless variety of get on some runs there and nonetheless make a state of affairs the place you can also make a run into the playoffs and get in. But with 56 video games, it’s a must to have gotten to be in your recreation for a great lengthy quantity of time. But, with that journey, with the condensed schedule, you might have accidents, you had the COVID state of affairs. So, groups bought slowed down in these conditions the place you had some good groups lose some good gamers that affected their schedule and affected their document because the season was coming to an finish.
I could not think about no followers. It simply variety of, it provides to that complete depth degree of playoffs and I do know that Canadian restrictions are totally different than the U.S. But the U.S. is simply letting up somewhat bit, so I do know some buildings might be allowed to have somewhat extra capability developing right here. [It] simply variety of makes the entire state of affairs, the entire sense of playoffs, extra thrilling for followers and for gamers,
SN: Speaking somewhat bit concerning the Canadian division, Auston Matthews is having an outstanding 12 months. What about his shot makes it so lethal?
MM: Well, he will get it off in a rush. He would not actually waste any time with it and he has a very good thought the place it is going. But you discuss to lots of nice objective scorers, it is only a matter of getting the puck on the web fast. Not permitting the goalie to essentially variety of arrange and problem the shooter and he does have an incredible launch and I feel that is half the battle in beating goalies; Not permitting him to get set and face you as a shooter. Plus, he is an enormous man, he is an enormous man, exhausting to maneuver round, however he is bought a great attain however definitely, his fingers are quick and it is heavy and it is coming at you fairly fast. When you might have these issues and you are in a position to get a half a dozen pictures a recreation, you are going to get a great primary targets entering into for you.
SN: He’s the primary American to win the Rocket Richard Trophy, and the primary American to win the goal-scoring race since Keith Tkachuk in 1997, how vital is it for USA Hockey?
MM: It simply helps phenomenally. I feel the expansion of the sport in these states that we by no means had hockey earlier than the growth in California and Arizona, Texas, Florida, I feel it is simply variety of have elevated the hockey pool that we get to drag gamers out of. He was a uncommon exception out of Phoenix, the No. 1 draft decide, goes to Europe to play earlier than his draft 12 months and then the nationwide group in Ann Arbour. It’s a uncommon exception I feel to search out somebody come out of Scottsdale, and to be the wonderful participant that he’s.
It does lots for USA Hockey. It exhibits that the expansion is there, the rise of recognition is there. Certainly for a participant to win the Rocket, being an American, that is simply, such as you mentioned, it is by no means been completed earlier than, and I’m positive for the way in which he performs and scores and creates in all probability will not be the final award he wins both.
SN: Your group of American gamers, you, Doug Weight, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, you guys paved the way in which for this technology of American gamers. What’s it like seeing the place USA Hockey is now?
MM: I assume there’s lots of satisfaction that comes with it. I feel as youngsters, our popping out was 1980. I feel for lots of youngsters now, they’re popping out with the ’96 World Cup. I feel ’02 Salt Lake Games in opposition to Canada was an enormous enticing factor for these youngsters that had been turning into world junior gamers and be capable of get right into a nationwide group format. You have a look at that crop of youngsters now, there’s in all probability hasn’t been that a lot expertise, in all probability since that World Cup ’96 group for us. We bought lots of ability in [Patrick] Kane and Jack Eichel, Auston, the Hughes brothers. I imply, the listing variety of goes on, it is growing. This subsequent Olympics may very well be an actual good coming-out get together for lots of these guys too.
SN: Obviously mentioning Connor McDavid, I imply what’s it been like watching him in his recreation and simply what he is completed this 12 months.
MM: Oh it has been phenomenal. I feel it is simply, he is at an entire different degree. He’s only a degree above everyone. He’s only a uncommon participant that comes round that everyone appears to wish to watch. You really feel such as you’re entertained each evening. I’m positive it is killing the followers in Edmonton to not be in that constructing, full home, to observe that, and to see the kind of season he placed on.
I do know everyone’s itching to get again within the constructing, similar with our man Kirill Kaprizov in Minnesota, the season he is had for the Wild — and in all probability the Calder Trophy winner. Loads of good issues that, hopefully, the followers will get to watch quickly right here in particular person.
SN: Regarding the Wild, they’re having a spectacular season. Your ideas on their playoff probabilities.
MM: It’s been wonderful. The turnaround’s been nice. I feel Kaprizov has variety of added this complete thrilling dynamic to their group. [Mats] Zuccarello is wholesome, taking part in rather well. So, that they had lots of constructive, good issues occurring that they simply variety of bought this momentum going. They performed with lots of confidence this 12 months. They’re well-coached. I performed with Dean [Evason] in Dallas for a couple of years and he is [a] very easy no-nonsense man and, being one of the fellows in that room to assist rent Bill Guerin, he is variety of the identical manner; Just no-nonsense, simply would not take excuses very nicely, you both present up and do your job otherwise you’re not going to play.
They set the tone early within the season and gamers appear to be shopping for in. . . . Minnesota has all the time been referred to as a sort of ‘meat and potato’ group, variety of grind it out, low-scoring kind of type video games. Now, they’re maintaining tempo with Vegas, maintaining tempo with lots of the groups that may rise up and down the ice fast and make some performs.
I feel their first spherical goes to be robust. . . . They bought their fingers full. But, the objective is to get in and whenever you get in, you simply by no means know what can occur.
SN: Do you might have a prediction for who will win the Stanley Cup this 12 months?
MM: I’m going to attempt to have my Wild as my Dark Horse. But, I feel, you have a look at Tampa, you have a look at even Pittsburgh’s come on robust. The similar groups variety of appear to choose up on the similar time of the 12 months. But our division, particularly, I feel the Vegas-Colorado factor and Minnesota may very well be very attention-grabbing how that performs out.