Mike Modano Biography
Michael Thomas Modano was born on June 7, 1970 in Livonia, Michigan to Michael, Sr. and Karen Modano. Mike has two older sisters, Sandy and Linda.
An energetic young boy, Mike found hockey at the age of 7. Immensely talented from the beginning, Mike worked hard playing for youth groups in and around his hometown of Livonia. When Mike was 15, he moved to Prince Albert Saskatchewan, Canada where he joined the Prince Albert Raiders. There he pursued his passion for hockey, honed his skills and graduated from High School. His dream of making his passion his life’s pursuit became a reality when, upon graduating high school in 1988, Mike was selected by the Minnesota North Stars as their #1 pick in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. At the time, Mike was only the second American–born player to be chosen #1 (Brian Lawton being drafted in 1983). Mike played with Minnesota for five years until the franchise transferred to Dallas just before the 1993-94 season. The new Dallas Stars and their dynamic center begin a love affair with the city of Dallas, turning this traditional “football town” into a hockey hot bed in the middle of the great Southwest.
Mike has experienced both team and individual success with the Dallas Stars. In the 1999-2000 season, after only six years in Dallas, he led the Stars in their quest for the most coveted trophy in professional sports, the Stanley Cup. They made it to the play offs every year from 2002 to 2011. Because of his leadership both on and off the ice, in 2003 Mike was named Captain of the Dallas Stars, an honor that Brenden Morrow assumed in 2006.
On March 17, 2007 in an away game versus the Nashville Predators, Modano scored his 502nd and 503rd career regular-season goals, passing Joe Mullen’s NHL record (502) for most goals scored by an American-born player. In October 2007, Mike looked to tie and break the record for all-time leading point producer among U.S. born players, which was held by Phil Housley. He broke the record on November 7, 2007, by scoring two goals in the first five minutes against the San Jose Sharks, with the record-breaker being a short-handed goal on a breakaway.
Along with the two prestigious NHL records, Mike holds all of the offensive Dallas Stars franchise records, including career points, career goals, career assists and career games played. His play-off record is just as impressive, as he holds the records for most play-off points, play-off goals, play-off assists and most play-off games played. Offensive fire-power combined with lightning-quick speed and full throttle skating style make Mike a favorite with fans. They selected him as a 7-time NHL All-Star.
International competition played a significant role in Mike’s development as an aggressive hockey player. In 1996, 2004 and 2005 Mike played with Team USA in international competition winning a gold medal in the inaugural World Cup game in 1996. He was selected to play in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan as well as the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, Utah where he led the team to a silver medal victory. His most recent appearance was in 2004 in Tornio, Italy where he served as the captain of the USA Hockey team. As a way to recognize him for his commitment to his country and the sport, in 2002, Modano received the prestigious USA Hockey Bob Johnson Award which recognizes excellence in international ice hockey competition.
After 21 years of an Iconic career, Mike retired from hockey and began a new chapter in his career with renewed focus on The Mike Modano Foundation, which provides resources and education for at-risk, particularly abused, abandoned and neglected children in the Dallas area. In 2002, Mike realized a dream when the Mike Modano Infant and Toddler Cottage, located on the campus of Jonathan’s Place, a safe haven for at-risk children, was opened. He continues to provide funding and resources to organizations whose purpose is to offer education to children and families to assist in reversing the devastating effects of child abuse.
Mike lives in Dallas with his wife, Mandy ‘Willa’ Ford and their four lovable dogs, Bear, Sunny, Collins and Nugget.