Gordie Howe, 88

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

He was as el­e­men­tal to the game as ice.

Gordie Howe came out of the hard Saskatchewan prairie and presided over his sport for five decades. He was Mr. Hockey.

Even Wayne Gret­zky ac­knowl­edged the pre­em­i­nence of No. 9 of the Detroit Red Wings, and it was no co­in­ci­dence Gret­zky wore No. 99.

Howe joined the NHL just af­ter World War II, and be­fore he was done fin­ished with 801 goals and 1,850 points. He led the Red Wings to four Stan­ley Cups and was MVP six times.

He was a player with vi­sion, pres­ence and tough­ness. Sticks and checks and fists were the flip side to his majesty on the ice.

Fam­ily was para­mount, and when he left the NHL at 45 to join the rene­gade WHA, noth­ing gave him more plea­sure than to play be­side sons Mark and Marty. This Methuse­lah with a slap shot came back to the NHL at 52.

Gordie Howe stands with his life­time achieve­ment award in 2008. The Cana­dian Press

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