THN: Joe Sakic und Mike Modano - Zwei Haudegen im Interview
Die neueste Ausgabe des
nordamerikanischen Fachmagazins "The Hockey News" beschäftigt sich in
der Titelstory mit den beiden NHL-Veteranen Mike Modano (Dallas) und
Joe Sakic (Colorado), die in ihrer gesamten Karriere nur für jeweils
ein Team zum Schläger griffen.
They’re quiet, soft-spoken leaders; loyal,
distinguished and cagey. They’re battle-worn soldiers in a game being
transitioned to the next generation.
Mike Modano and Joe Sakic sharpened their
teeth at 16 and 17 on the Saskatchewan
prairies. In the 20 years since, they’ve crossed sticks in the faceoff circle
countless times, always with the same organization, the same resolve.
Ever since ‘Burnaby Joe’ and ‘Michigan
Mike’ played for Swift Current and Prince
Albert in the WHL in 1986, they’ve witnessed the game
evolve around their steady yet superstar careers.
They tore up the major junior ranks
together, were baptized into a freewheeling NHL as teenagers, moved south with
their relocating franchises, butted heads in international play, lived through
the dead-puck era and are enjoying open space again in the new NHL.
Sakic almost left the Avs for the Rangers
after signing an offer sheet as a restricted free agent in 1997. But he stayed.
Modano could have signed elsewhere for more money as a free agent in 2005. He
Almost strangers off the ice, they spent an
hour with us in a conference room at the Crescent Court hotel in Dallas to talk about
their astonishingly parallel careers. The Hockey News correspondent Mike Heika
sat down with the duo to reflect upon a past, present and future that are
The Hockey News: Do you remember playing
each other for the first time in the Western Hockey League?
Joe Sakic: Not really. You’re going back a
while. The first time? No. But I do remember what he was like then. The guy
just flew. He was the fastest guy out on the ice.
Mike Modano: I’m with him. I remember
playing against him, but it was a long time ago. We didn’t have any key battles
that I can remember.
THN: You are both players who have remained
with the same franchise. Is that something that has always been important to
you, or has it become more important as you’ve gotten older?
Sakic: It has probably gotten more
important as I’ve gotten older. You never think about that stuff when you start
your career. You just want to play hockey. But as you get older, it really does
make it easier just to stay in one place. You’re comfortable, you like the city
and the organization. It’s something that just feels right.
Modano: I feel the same way. As I’ve gotten
older, it means more. This is a great place and we are treated very well here
and that’s important. You’re content here, happy here.
THN: And you had a decision to make, didn’t
you, Mike? There was the chance that you could have left the Stars after the
lockout when you became an unrestricted free agent, yet you took less money to
Modano: Yeah, that’s when you really were
faced with a decision about what’s important to you and how do you want to live
your life after hockey. I want to live here and I want to play for this
franchise. That’s a decision I had to make.
THN: Joe, you never even got to
unrestricted free agency, you always signed your deals before July 1.
Sakic: No, I knew what I wanted. It’s nice
to be one of those few guys who are able to do this. I don’t think there’s too
THN: Do you ever look back at the free
agent offer sheet from the Rangers and think that things could have turned out
Sakic: Well, it definitely could have gone
either direction at the time, but now that I look back at it, I’m really
fortunate that I was able to stay.
THN: Do you think you’ll stay in Colorado after you
Sakic: Yeah, for the most part. I don’t see
any reason to leave. My family loves it there and it’s become a real part of
THN: How about you, Mike? Are you living in
Modano: Yeah, that was part of the
decision, too. I was pretty sure I was going to live here no matter what, so it
didn’t make sense, in the end, to go to another team.
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