Goodbye Mr. Hockey

I just got a text from a fellow hockey fan that read “Holy shit! Gordie Howe died.” I had to take a moment to take this in. As a youngster growing up in Canada, hockey was everything. My mom got me a book one day called  Hockey….Here’s Howe. It was written in 1963, and it has been decades since I read that book. I’m not sure if I even have it. I can say that even though I love hockey, I only have ever had books by arguably the 3 best to ever play the game. Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe. In the book Gordie wrote about being a 15 year old kid from Saskatchewan that was in awe in the New York Rangers dressing room. He was invited to camp, and he thought it would be best to keep his mouth shut.

He quickly became the best player of his generation, and the term “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” (a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game) still lives on to this day. He was also known as being the best and the toughest player at the same time. His elbow was especially feared. Often 2 players would go in the corner, and only Gordie would emerge.

He retired in 1971 for the first time, but 2 years later was lured to the newly formed WHA to play with his sons. He played professional hockey until the incredible age of 52. When he retired he had the record for games played, goals scored, won 4 Stanley Cups, 6 scoring titles, league MVP 6 times, and was named to the All Star team 21 times.

He was so good his name “Mr. Hockey” is a registered trademark. He was well loved in Detroit and in Canada, so in 2020 the Gordie Howe International Bridge will open between Detroit Michigan and Windsor Ontario.

To me, it’s kind of fitting that Ali’s funeral is happening on the same day that Gordie Howe died. Arguably the best ever at their respective sports. So long Gordie. I hope there is hockey on the other side.

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8 thoughts on “Goodbye Mr. Hockey

  1. Had a hard time clicking the Like button on this one. It’s a perfect post, sums up all I thought in the moment I heard, but it sucks to click Like on sad news like this. I know, I know, he was 88, and he lived a helluva full life. But it seemed like like Mr. Hockey would be around forever, you know? And in a way, I suppose, he will be, in our hearts and minds. And tis is me saying this with him having played just about his whole career before I was even born.

    Thanks a bunch for this post, Bop.

    Also, hey 2016. Seriously. Kiss my sweet, sweet ass.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CBC did a pretty decent movie a few years ago about him called Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe story.

    The writing has been on the wall for a while, but it still stings.

    When he was 70 years old, he came back for 1 game and played a shift. I think Aretha Franklin sang a song that starts with R. That is what I have for him.

    Like

    • We were out at Kelsey’s last night (I had the smoked meat burger… I texted James ‘OMG meat coma!’ haha) and all the big screens were showing homages to Gordie. We were there to meet up with my aunt and uncle from the Sault, whom we haven’t seen in ages, and even then it was hard to tear my eyes from the screen. A real, visceral loss for hockey.

      I hear you on the respect, oh man. But dude, I think that song was also about sex (ol’ Otis, the horndog haha). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. His version was about sex. Aretha changed it enough though to make it about an empowered woman that deserves R E S P E C T. Take Care, T C B.

        Either way I just used the title about Gordie as I do not know any hockey fan that has ever said a bad thing about him. I was never a Red Wings fan, but I was a Gordie fan.

        Like

      • I have had those conversations with my wife during a hockey related broadcast.

        “Are you listening?”

        “Yes. Of course. You were saying something about work, weren’t you.”

        Like

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