RIP: Mr. Everything

Gordie-howe-hockey-canada

Gordie Howe, known as “Mr. Hockey,” had died at 88 this afternoon. Howe was also referred to during his career as Power, Mr. Everything, Mr. All-Star, The Most, The Great Gordie, The King of Hockey, The Legend, The Man, No. 9, and “Mr. Elbows”. Here’s some excerpts from terrific tribute by Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker:

“Gordie Howe, who died today, was so much a legend—Mr. Hockey!—and so often referenced as the greatest player of all time, even lending his Number 9 to Wayne Gretzky (who turned it into his own 99), that it is surprisingly hard to put his achievements into clear relief. His persistence was such that, in memory, it overwhelms his peculiar excellence. The persistence was pretty startling. He played until he was fifty-two, long enough to skate professionally alongside his own sons. His accumulated stats include 2,421 games, 1,071 goals, 1,518 assists, 2,589 points, and 2,418 penalty minutes…He seemed to play forever, and he forever played well, winning six M.V.P. awards and six scoring championships, too…

Some of Howe’s peculiar greatness is summed up in the still-current “Gordie Howe hat trick,” which is when a player has a goal, an assist, and a fight all in one game. Howe was tough—and, by all accounts, mean…

Above all, he was a representative—the perfect representative—of a certain kind of Canadianness, reflected, as it was bound to be, in a hockey player, as perhaps Lou Gehrig or Stan Musial, other Iron Men, were representative of similar, American baseball values, now largely lost. A product of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the most Canadian of Canadian places, Howe might have had the Canadian fault of being a touch too trusting, easily and even brutally exploited by the Red Wings owner Bruce Norris. He nonetheless made the Canadian virtues of modesty, persistence, and family-above-all-else part of the heritage of hockey. He didn’t just play with his sons; he played well with his sons—while his wife, Colleen, a Detroit girl, was always surprisingly visible, in a way few athletes’ wives were at the time. He even got to play in the now mostly—and unfairly—forgotten 1974 Summit Series, when the World Hockey Association’s stars took on the Soviets. He was old, but still the leader.

~ Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker: Gordie Howe Was the Ideal Canadian Athlete


Photo: Amazon – Mr. Hockey: My Story. By Gordie Howe

 

 

 

Comments

  1. The U.S. and Canada each lost a great sports figure and ambassador with in a few days of each other. Both countries are less for it, but for fans who see how sports can build character, they are all the better for Ali and Gordie.
    -Alan

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The only reason we got a tv was to watch hockey. Detroit was my team, still is. I have had the privilege of meeting many NHL hockey players; it’s like that when your dad comes from the prairies and knew them all but Gordie was the best! We lost a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steven Reiff says:

    Sorry for Canada’s loss of a national treasure.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kevin Byrnes says:

    A true giant of the sport, RIP Gordie Howe. When I was little I was able to see Howe, Hull, Esposito and Orr play the Rangers at the Garden. It was special then, it is still special now to remember it. Thanks for posting David.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved going to Hockey games back then – thanks for this lovely tribute! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had the privilege of meeting Mr Howe. Great man! Will be missed. Have always been a Red Wings fan. The greatest sport on earth! RIP Mr.Howe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry for your loss. Carry on with your own “certain kind of Canadianness.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. He was one of the greats and, having grown up just south of Saskatoon, you can bet we claimed him as our own. Who wouldn’t? Nicely done, DM.

    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

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