March 19, 2007

Modano gets no love from Nashville: Mike Modano became the NHL's all-time leading U.S.-born goal scorer during a loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday, but you wouldn't have known it if you were at the game. No mention of Modano's achievement was made during the game, and Dallas Stars president Jim Lites ain't happy about it.

posted by wfrazerjr to hockey at 01:19 PM - 18 comments

Why the NHL did not get rid of the rif-raf franchises during the work stoppage, I'll never know. Too many teams, Too little interest to ever be more than a pastime sport.

posted by jaygolf at 02:55 PM on March 19

Jim Lites and Mike Heika should grow up. The Nashville hockey club mentioned he scored. What else are they supposed to do? He's not their player. It's not a record in the N.H.L. In fact, it's 36th on the career goal scoring list. There are way too many stoppages and delays in the N.H.L. as it is. Only records should have that honour. Do we think Jim Lites and Mike Heika would be nearly as upset if Antti Laaksonen had set the record for most goals by a Finnish born player, and not had it mentioned in an opposing arena? I highly doubt it, it's only because Modano is an American that this non-issue is even being written about. If you stop a game to honour Modano for this, where does it stop? There was no hue or cry when the game was not stopped when Jaromir Jagr became the highest scoring European player.

posted by tommytrump at 02:57 PM on March 19

Because if Nashville's management had anything but the most myopic of visions they'd realize that the highest scoring American-born player setting the record in their building might mean something to American Hockey fans attending the game. It might, dare I suggest it, help grow the market by highlighting some US players that have done well. It might actually be an interesting topic to discuss around the water coolers at the office, or between chicken wings at the local bars. It might be RELEVANT. Of course, it might not. But I fail to see the harm in trying. Hockey sucks at marketing itself. It just plain sucks.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:07 PM on March 19

Exactly, hockey sucks at marketing itself. To pin this on the Predators is stupid. If the N.H.L. thought this was important, they should have had someone at the game and they would have had a ceremony prepared, or, they would have instructed the Preds to have some video or other honour ready. This milestone had very little to nothing to do with the Nashville Predators and expecting them to honour an opposing player is ridiculous. The blame for any lack of promotion belongs to the league. My sports teams tend to be Toronto-centric and I would be shocked to see any ceremony for any Leaf, Blue Jay, Raptor, or Argo player reaching a club mark, or league milestone in an opposing arena, stadium, or ball park. I have often seen pre-game ceremonies at the next home game, and that to me is significant enough. I suspect, when, or if, Mike Modano actually sets a record for goals scored, the league, and whatever teams are involved in the game, will honour him appropriately.

posted by tommytrump at 03:37 PM on March 19

I don't think they should have made a big deal about it, but simply putting up the announcement on the scoreboard during a TV timeout break would have been nice. BTW, I think that most fans would be hard pressed to know the name of the player he passed in the goal-scoring record (Joe Mullen). Also, I think it should be more of a big deal when Modano becomes the #1 American player in points, not goals. He's within 20 points of that title, but I wonder how many people know who the current leader is... Cuvy Ubhfyrl (rot-13 for the answer)

posted by grum@work at 03:42 PM on March 19

grum, Phil Housley, if you mean American born, though Steve Yzerman holds American citizenship now.

posted by tommytrump at 03:56 PM on March 19

Not that this accomplishment is not worth celebrating, but are the Predators fans really supposed to cheer for and opposing player who has just scored a goal (and his second of the game) while the game is going on? Furthermore, if this occurred in Detroit, would you expect it to be handled any differently?

posted by bender at 04:29 PM on March 19

Yes, Bender& tommy etal, I would expect Modano's feat to be handled differently in Hockeytown.This exactly what I thought when I read the article this morning in the Dallas paper.Detroit loves their Wings but they will give credit where its due. Besides, Mike is from Livonia, a Detroit suburb.

posted by sickleguy at 05:34 PM on March 19

if you mean American born, though Steve Yzerman holds American citizenship now. Nuh-uh! You can't have him. He's ours and will always be Canadian. Just cuz he lives there and pays taxes doesn't mean you can claim him as American. He's running our World Hockey Championship squad this year!

posted by grum@work at 06:58 PM on March 19

Bender: Yes. The fans had a chance to see some NHL history being made. That's worth at least a minute or two of golf clapping. I was present for George Brett's final game, which was played at Arlington Stadium. The Rangers faithful cheered him throughout the game, especially when his last at-bat was a hit, and Brett was a Ranger-killer for his entire career.

posted by rcade at 07:12 PM on March 19

if you mean American born, though Steve Yzerman holds American citizenship now. Nuh-uh! You can't have him. He's ours and will always be Canadian. Just cuz he lives there and pays taxes doesn't mean you can claim him as American. He's running our World Hockey Championship squad this year! But grum, He is American, Shanny too. I, on the other hand, am Canadian. I do like Miller Genuine Draft though. Do I need counselling?

posted by tommytrump at 07:17 PM on March 19

If you like MGD you definitely need counseling, regardless of your country of origin.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 07:52 PM on March 19

i agree with grum that an announcement of some sort should have been made. but it also sounds like dallas skimped a bit on honoring Modano. a video and some confetti during a tv timeout? after Jagr and Shanny reached 600 goals they had a pre-game ceremony with their families present and gave them both silver sticks. i'm not saying dallas needed to go that far, but it might have been nice to give him something other than little bits of paper.

posted by goddam at 09:18 PM on March 19

Some context from Stars play-by-play caller and blogger, Daryl Reaugh

Remember when Patrick Roy set the record for most minutes played by a goaltender in NHL history in a game at AAC? Our organization acknowledged it in the building and 18,500 rose to their feet in thunderous applause, despite the fact Roy was rival "A" during those 90s Conference Finals. And in more recent memory, how about when Mark Recchi scored his 500th career goal during that wildly entertaining post-All Star tilt with the Pens. Once again the Stars organization reckognized the accomplishment, and again the sold out arena stood and showered the individual with a lengthy standing O, one that stunned the classy pro...but not me.
Fear not, goddam. There's an insane amount of love for Mo in Dallas. There was a *huge* controversy this summer when the C went from Mike to Brenden Morrow (although I pretty much agreed with the move). But Mike is the face of the franchise and a lifelong (pre-Dallas) Star. Put a gun to 10 people's heads in Dallas and the only two Stars that 8 of them can name are Mike and Turco (and only 4 of those 8 will be able to tell you Turco's first name). In addition to the fact that Mike broke the record in a loss on the road, there was a lot of concern, both from Modano, his teammates, and the fans about Stephane Robidas's concussion from the sucker punch Tootoo threw. From a celebratory point of view, it couldn't have been a worse game for Mike to break the record.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:04 PM on March 19

If the N.H.L. thought this was important, they should have had someone at the game and they would have had a ceremony prepared, or, they would have instructed the Preds to have some video or other honour ready. This milestone had very little to nothing to do with the Nashville Predators and expecting them to honour an opposing player is ridiculous. The blame for any lack of promotion belongs to the league. Celebrating milestones in other buildings happen all the time. There are some examples above. It is in the Predators interest to celebrate this particular milestone - given the current climate around those parts. Yes - they can have some of this blame for failing to recognize it. Surrounded by Muppets! MUPPETS!!!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:34 AM on March 20

I have never understood the nation-of-birth segregation of sports records in nationally-integrated leagues. This one seems particularly arbitrary -- not the most goals for an American, but the most goals for someone who was born in America. I could see a stadium recognizing a visiting player's achievement of a round number like 500 goals. But 503? Because he happened to be born in America? 36th all-time? I don't know -- I think the record would be almost condescending if it wasn't so contrived. Do they do this for every nation of origin? Who leads among Pakistanis? Are we just to do it for Americans because some of the games are in America? I wonder if they would do it in Canada if the Canadian record didn't happen to be the very-worthwhile all-time record as well. Alert me when an American pulls that one off, and even then I'll celebrate it as an actual sports record, not some national oddity. I'm shrugging with you, Nashville.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:49 AM on March 20

Who leads among Pakistanis? I can tell you who leads among Taiwanese-born players! Rod Langway! (I won a $5 bet when I was in high school because of this question.)

posted by grum@work at 11:09 AM on March 20

Are we just to do it for Americans because some of the games are in America? Yes. Well, that and the fact that indoor cricket spitting appears to have a greater following and some coverage on ESPN. Why not? Let's jump on the jingoistic bandwagon and sell some goddamned TV! C'mon hockey people - it'll be fun! (Modano is a good choice too. He's dreamy. Phil Housley was ugly like a car crash.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:31 PM on March 20

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