The Minnesota Wild have officially announced the return of Mike Modano to the State of Hockey, hiring former North Stars player as an executive advisor. Modano will work with the upper management and ownership in several capacities not necessarily involved with the hockey operations. Though he doesn’t begin until September, the team is already quite excited about bringing in the Hall of Fame talent. Owner Craig Leipold released a statement:
We are extremely excited to welcome Mike Modano to the Minnesota Wild organization,. His Hall of Fame career was one of the best in the history of the NHL and we look forward to Mike helping our organization build an even greater State of Hockey.
Modano, 48, was originally selected first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988. He immediately became a star upon arrival in the NHL, scoring 75 points in his first season with the North Stars and finishing second in Calder Trophy voting behind only 31-year old Sergei Makarov—an infamous decision that was quite controversial at the time. Even without that hardware, the league was put on notice that Modano could very well be a game-changing force right from the very beginning and he did not disappoint throughout his career.
Following the North Stars to Dallas in 1993, Modano became the face of hockey in the American south and went on to have a Hall of Fame career. In 1,499 career regular season games—all but 40 of which were played with one franchise—Modano recorded 1,374 points and is first among American-born scorers. In 176 playoff games he put up 146 points and helped lead Dallas to a Stanley Cup in 1999.
He held a similar position to this one with the Stars for two years but has lived in Arizona for the last several years. That will change now as he takes this opportunity with the Wild, one that he is happy to have given his history in Minnesota:
I am very thankful for this opportunity and excited to work with Craig and [President Matt Majka] to help support a number of Minnesota Wild business initiatives. I have always felt a special relationship with this community and look forward to reconnecting with all the wonderful fans in the State of Hockey as a member of the Wild organization.