Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/03/13 at 05:50 AM ET
Dallas Stars legend and one-season Red Wing Mike Modano was born and raised in Metropolitan Detroit, but he chose to play Major Junior hockey when he was 16, and his performance with the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders earned him that 1st overall seleciton back in 1989. The Prince Albert Herald's Andrew Schopp reports that Modano returned to Saskatchewan to have his number retired by the Raiders on Friday:
It's been 24 years since Mike Modano left the Prince Albert Raiders and the WHL behind to join the Minnesota North Stars in the NHL, but he still knows his way around town.
"It's been a long time," said Modano of his last time in Prince Albert. "A few things have changed here and there, but I still figured out my way around with the rental car."
The Raiders retired Modano's no. 9 in a stirring pre-game ceremony at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday, followed by a 7-1 Raiders victory over the Regina Pats in a fight filled affair that included 156 penalty minutes.
"Thrill, shock, honour, all in the same breath," Modano said of watching his number rise to the rafters of the Art Hauser Centre where he scored his first WHL goal, and then two more, in his first game as a Raider.
"I had never imagined in a million years that game unfolding like it did," Modano said of his first WHL game with the Raiders where he scored a hat-trick. "Playing with Pat Elynuik made life real easy, he was a gifted guy, a couple of great passes from him and that was that. It was a remarkable way to start a career out here."
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