Unless you were living under a rock yesterday, you’ve already heard that hockey legend Gordie Howe passed away yesterday morning at the age of 88.
We at BobbyToBergy also heard. However, considering the flurry of stories, we did not feel that we could add much to what was already out there. Yet we would be remiss if we did not at least make mention of his passing.
If one were asked to name the three greatest NHL players to lace up the skates during my lifetime, the unanimous list would be Gretzky, Orr & Howe. In fact, Bobby Orr has called Howe “the greatest player ever” on more than one occasion. Wayne Gretzky had a similar opinion, saying “to me he was the greatest hockey player to ever play.”.
Here are a couple more interesting statements from around the hockeyverse:
“The list of hockey players who suited up in six different decades, including returning to the ice after being inducted into the Hall of Fame, is a short one: it starts and ends with Gordie Howe. But the list of kids who skated around the pond until dark, picturing themselves passing, scoring, and enforcing like Howe, dreaming of hoisting the Stanley Cup like him – that one comprises too many to count. Howe’s productivity, perseverance, and humility personified his adopted hometown of Detroit, to which he brought four championships and which he represented as an All-Star more than 20 times. The greatest players define their game for a generation; over more than half a century on the ice, Mr. Hockey defined it for a lifetime. Michelle and I send our condolences to his sons and daughter, his family, and his loyal fans from Hockeytown to Hartford to Houston and across North America” — President Barack Obama
(Prime Minister Trudeau also felt the need to make note of Howe’s passing.)
“I was very sad to learn today of the passing of my longtime teammate, and friend, Gordie Howe. Gordie really was the greatest hockey player who ever lived. I was fortunate to play with Gordie for 12 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and I’ve known him for over 70 years. He could do it all in the game to help his team, both offensively and defensively. He earned everything that he accomplished on the ice. Beyond hockey, Colleen and his family meant everything to him. Gordie was larger than life, and he was someone who I thought would live forever. My wife Joanne and I extend our condolences to Gordie’s children — Cathleen, Mark, Marty and Murray — and his entire family and many friends during this time.” — Ted Lindsey
Rest In Peace, “Mr. Hockey”