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 stayed.
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 remarkably reflective.
Click here to read the entire interview at TheHockeyNews.com