By Jaroslav Modry
With the 56th NHL All-Star Game weekend set to hit Atlanta on Jan. 26-27, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jaroslav Modry recalls his all-star experience, when the festivities were held in Los Angeles in 2002:
I was fortunate enough to take part in the 2002 All-Star Game and it was a great experience for me. Certainly, playing at home in Los Angeles with the Kings fans in the stands made it even more special.
I was a little bit nervous before the game, but as soon as the puck dropped I just played hockey. I concentrated on doing the right things and just having some fun out there.
It was great being in the dressing room surrounded by such great hockey players, guys I grew up with like Jaromir Jagr and Nicklas Lidstrom. It was really special just to sit back and watch how they approach the game.
Even though it’s the All-Star Game and doesn’t count in the standings, it was amazing to see the way those guys carry themselves around the game.
Being selected to the team was definitely a rewarding experience for all the time you put in. It’s something you try to accomplish as a player, so it’s special be there.
What made it even better for me was my dad came to visit and was part of the whole experience with me.
He put in a lot of time, effort and work with me growing up, so it was rewarding for him, as well.
The best part was the day after the game when I sat down with my dad and we went over the whole experience, reliving the day all over again. It was really fun.
The All-Star Game is a celebration of the game of hockey and pretty unique and fun for the fans.
But for me, it all went by so fast.
You have to be here to do this, you have to be there to do that…then, before you know it, the game is over.
So you can’t digest everything until a few days after it’s finished.
But it’s something I’m going to remember forever.
Born in Ceske-Budejovice of the former Czechoslovakia, defenseman Jaroslav Modry is in his second tour of duty with the Kings. Drafted in the ninth round (179th overall) by the Devils in 1990, Modry has played for N.J., Ottawa, Atlanta, Dallas and L.A. during his NHL career. For more information on the Kings, visit lakings.com.