Gordie Howe, as Remembered by the Hockey World

The hockey world lost Gordie Howe on Friday. He was 88 years old.

As an incomparable pillar of hockey internationally, the remembrances poured in Friday as the news of his death came out. Here are some reactions from around the hockey world. We’ll keep this updated throughout the day. Feel free to add your own in the comments or to pass along other ones we might have missed.

The Red Wings organization and the National Hockey League would not be what they are today without Gordie Howe. There is no nickname more fitting for him than “Mr. Hockey.” He embodied on and off the ice what it meant to be both a Red Wing and a Detroiter. He was tough, skilled, and consistently earned success at the highest level. His achievements are numerous and his accomplishments immeasurable. It is truly a blessing to have had him both in our organization and our city for so many years. He will be deeply missed.

He would have every right to strut around, think of himself as something special. I loved him for his simplicity. It didn’t matter if you were the parking lot attendant, the milkman, the postman or the maid, he treated everyone the same way.

Jim Devellano, Detroit Red Wings senior vice-president

He was nicer, bigger and better than I could have ever imagined.

Wayne Gretzky on TSN


Gordie Howe is a true legend who not only inspired so many people by his achievements on the ice, but to all of those who interacted with him throughout his life. He represented our game with great dignity and always had time for his legions of fans… Thank you ‘Mr. Hockey’.

Lanny McDonald, Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame/Hall of Famer

As one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL, the majority of his career being in Detroit, it was an honor to wear the same uniform, spend time with, laugh, joke and seek advice from him. Gordie’s humility and kindness left a permanent impression on me, greatly influencing how I tried to conduct myself throughout my career.

His impact on the Red Wings organization is still evident today. I travel the world and constantly hear stories from people who love the Wings and share memories of the glory days when Gordie and his teammates ruled the NHL. For all players fortunate enough to play for the Wings, we should take time to thank and honor Gordie, for he is a significant reason why Detroit is such a special place to play.

Steve Yzerman

Gordie’s toughness as a competitor on the ice was equaled only by his humor and humility away from it. No sport could have hoped for a greater, more-beloved ambassador.

Commissioner Gary Bettman


Who was the greatest player of all-time?
“When it comes to who was the best hockey player ever, don’t even go there with me. There is no question that Gordie is the best of all time.” — Bobby Orr
“[Howe] is, he was, he will always be the greatest of all time.” — Wayne Gretzky
“The greatest player that ever played. He was the best out of all of them. No one better.” — Ted Lindsay

Read more quotes about the one and only Mr. Hockey from this piece in the THW archives.