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Watch Mike Modano’s epic jersey retirement ceremony, guest starring Dirk Nowitzki

Former Dallas Stars player Mike Modano watches as a banner bearing his jersey number is raised before the Stars' NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Dallas
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Former Dallas Stars player Mike Modano watches as a banner bearing his jersey number is raised before the Stars' NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/ Richard W. Rodriguez)

There are some jersey retirement ceremonies that transcend the tradition, that become celebrations not of a man but of an era.

We’ve been blessed with one already this week when Nicklas Lidstrom’s No. 5 was raised to the rafters at the Joe, celebrating the greatest defenseman of his generation but also the dynasty for which he was the backbone. On Saturday night, we got another: Mike Modano getting his No. 9 retired by the Dallas Stars, in a moment that honored the franchise’s greatest player and that player that introduced the franchise to Texas.

Here’s the full retirement ceremony, which stretched 62 minutes (!).

A few thoughts:

1. Modano’s speech was rather perfect for this sort of thing: a trip down memory lane with a few heartfelt moments and enough off-script lines to make it feel natural.

2. Speaking of which: The crowd awkwardly cheered when Detroit was mentioned during a teary-eyed moment for Modano recalling his humble beginnings. “It was only for one year. Give me a break,” he deadpanned, in reference to his inglorious swan song with the Red Wings.

3. How cool was it that a Dallas sports legend was honored by Dallas sports legends? Dirk Nowitzki, Rolando Blackmon, Michael Young, Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, all on hand for Modano night.

4. Finally, kudos to the Stars for one of the most overly dramatic banner raising soundtracks in the history of banners and/or raising.

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