As fallout from Mike Modano leaving the Dallas Stars continues. People and media from around the D/FW Area are giving their reaction about the franchise star leaving the team after being with the org. for over 20 years and in Dallas for the last 17. Here's some thoughts from Dallas Stars Play-By-Play Announcer Ralph Strangis.
From the Dallas Stars Website: www.dallasstars.com
I've been really busy the last few weeks. I know - sounds impossible to believe that a guy with my summer schedule actually gets "busy" - but a little travel - a little corporate work - a little entertaining sponsors in Vegas for the NHL Awards Ceremony - and you get - a little busy.
So I was unable to go to either Joe or Mike's respective press conference. Watched them both on the Dallas Stars website. Spoke to Joe. Traded a text with Mike. Talked to my organizational pals. Like that.
And because of all this running around lately - I haven't really had the time to let it sink all in. Mike Modano has officially played his last game with the Stars. Didn't know how that would feel to type it out - but I got though it alright.
I've known Mike for over 20 years. Literally watched each other grow up. I know - some would debate that for either or both but let's get weighed down here.
What Joe said - "his contributions are immeasurable." No other way to see it. Can't measure what he's done for this team, the game, the city, USA Hockey. No way to measure it. No way possible to quantify that. So were on the same page.
Then I get some emails about how we can do this to Mike. Totally understandable. I mean c'mon - if your Stars fans - how can you NOT be affected by this? And sometimes in my case things can come out sideways but i gotta get it out. So I get it out. So when I answer these emails I always begin with something like "part of what Mike helped us do here is create a really passionate fan base - and so thank you for sharing your passion with us."
Comes a time when everyone is done. No way around that either. What I've seen is generally the guy is the last guy to think it's time. Can't blame him for that - sort of Darwinian, hard-weird survival instincts or something. Then add the high achieving world class rock star athlete to the mix. Almost always somebody else has to make the call.
You know - I have been here a long time. But this job wasn't created so I can be the Stars Play-By-Play guy and an ambassador. Some day somebody else will have it. That's how it works. The wheel turns, deal with it.
Here's what I hope. That If I can do keep doing this job for a bunch more years - but then things start to go - you know - eyesight - memory - cadence - timing - sharpness - energy - any or all the things that I rely on every day. Well if I'm still here and they start going and I can't do this anymore but I can't do or don't walk to think about that - well here's what I hope.
I hope that they will be a guy on the airplane and around toward the end who is my friend and who knows exactly what I'm going through because he just went through it. That he'll talk to me and drop hints and be there for me when the time comes.
I hope hes the guy that says to me - "Ralphie - we love ya - and you've been a really good guy for us here - and we'll work to find a place for you in the organization... but buddy boy - you can't do play-by-play anymore."
I know i'd be pissed at first. Guaranteed. But I also know that I would be supremely fortunate if I could have a guy there for me like that. Most guys aren't that lucky. I hope if and when that happens I remember how much better it is for me that is someone like that and not somebody else who doesn't know me or understand what I'm going through and doesn't care anyway.
And hope I remember that the wheel does turn. That's the deal.
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