Gordie Howe passed away at the age of 88 on June 10th, 2016, after many years of leading in Canada’s favorite sport, ice hockey. He will always be remembered as a tough, no-nonsense player on the ice, but a good and loving man outside of it. His career started early and continued for many years, truly impressive and unforgettable. In fact, he still holds the professional games played record in the NHL, with a total of 1,767 games, but if you also add those he played in the WHA, the total comes up to 2,186. He had a long productive professional career which attracted fans and new players alike to the game.
He played in twenty-six NHL finals and six WHA finals, won six Hart Cups as Best Player, four Stanley Cups, and six Art Ross Cups for highest punctuation (goals and assistance).He was admitted into the Canadian Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975 and will remain in the minds and hearts of the Detroit Red Wings, where he played for twenty-six straight seasons.
Mr. Howe left behind four children and many friends and admirers within the NHL. Before he retired, he played with the Houston Aeros for seven years, and his two sons had the chance to play with and learn from the master. On Wednesday, his funeral was attended by thousands of people wanting to give him the last goodbye. Among them were famous ice hockey stars and idols like Gary Bettman, Wayne Gretzky, Scotty Bowman, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky, Detroit team executives, coaches, players, and followers were all geared up in their Red Wing jerseys to honor him during the public service.
Gretzky, Bowman, and Al Kaline took their positions as pallbearers, and the casket, covered in white and red roses as a tribute to the Detroit Red Wings, was taken to Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Murray Howe had the privilege of saying the eulogy, which was filled with sadness and humor because Gordie was a good man who had lived his life to the fullest. He was tough as nails, but also generous and loving. The audience was completely taken and followed each and every word he said.
Howe set and held his 810 goals and 1,850 points record for many years, until Gretzky came along in 1979 and broke it. The four Stanley Cup banners he helped to win flanked his casket. Ken Hitchcock, coach of the St. Louis Blues, said that he met Howe sixty years before, when he was a child in Western Canada. He had come to love the Red Wings because of Howe − watching him play was something out of this world.
Howe’s remains were cremated. Rest in peace, Gordie Howe, you will remain in our hearts and minds forever, especially when the ice hockey arenas are full, and the puck drops.
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