Honoring #9: Mike Modanoby Kirk MacRae | October 31, 2017, 4:59 PM ET
It was 19 years ago when it all started. The Kansas City Krunch would select Mike Modano 10th overall in the 1999 Dispersal Draft.
For 14 years Modano captained the Krunch and over that time he lead them to multiple cup finals (02-03,03-04,04-05) as well as their first and only championship in the 2004-05 season.
"Mike was the heart and soul of this team. We couldn't have asked for a better leader" reminisced GM MacRae. "He is exactly the type of player you build a winning team around. Nobody deserves this honor more than him."
From 1999 until 2012 Modano played 1059 regular season games, scoring 972 points as well as 121 playoff points in 129 games. He currently holds Krunch regular season franchise records in Points, Goals, Assists, Power Play Goals, Short Handed Goals, Game-winning Goals and Games Played. He was no slouch in the playoffs either holding the franchise record in Points, Assists and Game-winning Goals. Besides winning the Continental Cup in 2004-2005, Modano also won the Mario Lemieux Award in 2003-2004 for having the most assists in a season with 76.
Tonight the Krunch will be opening their season at home against division rival Las Vegas Aces and the fans are hopeful that with the moves made this off-season that we can expect to start winning like we did back in the Modano era.
Former #1 overall pick and rookie Center Auston Matthews will also be making his regular season debut. There is much excitement around this new player. Many are hoping he will have the same effect as Modano did for the Krunch and lead to several more banners in the rafters of the Krunch Dome.
Modano who will be at the game this evening has been following Matthews' career very closely.
"He's a very talented player and I think the fans in Kansas City are going to love him. A year from now he could be considered a top 20 player in the league. He has that kind of potential."
Matthews certainly looks to be a special player himself and it could be that in another 20 years we'll be honoring him right up there beside #9.