Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wishing a respectful and awe-inspired Rest in Peace to Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, after he passed away today at 88 years old. I didn’t bump into Howe much during the last 13 years covering the Bruins and the NHL, but I did feel the aura of greatness around him as we brushed past each other for a brief moment in the bowels of the Bell Centre at NHL All-Star weekend back in 2009.
I just remember thinking to myself that my hockey-loving dad would have been so jealous that I was sitting there hobnobbing with Mr. Hockey, and I wished he had been there with me for that moment. That’s what I thought of every time I saw reports about his declining health in recent years, and when I heard about Howe’s courageous battle to stick around for a few more years with his beloved family after some thought he wouldn’t.
That was true to his spirit, just as all of the tributes that are pouring in now are a credit to the larger-than-life man, just as much as the legendarily great hockey player.
*Pro Hockey Talk has the story of Howe’s passing on Friday after an amazing life and an NHL career that spanned generations.
*Speaking of Howe, here’s a classic ESPN SportsCenter commercial that perfectly captures his personalty and the legend surrounding the man.
*Hall of Fame hockey writer Michael Farber also recalls having a cup of tea with Mr. Hockey in a rarified moment of delicacy and sophistication.
*Shifting gears into this week’s Stanley Cup Final, here’s video proof of what goes on with Ron McLean and Don Cherry when they hit the road together.
*Former Minnesota Wild interim head coach John Torchetti was definitely bruised about getting passed over the for the Wild job, and has joined the Red Wings coaching staff.
*Martin Jones is putting his name in the San Jose record books as his headstand efforts on Thursday night pushed the Sharks to a Game 6 against the Penguins back at the Shark Tank.
*Some of the NHL owners out there are clearly getting comfortable with the idea of advertising on their player’s sweaters.
*Flames President Brian Burke says that Calgary might not have a head coach in place until after the NHL draft later this month.
*For something completely different: movie composer John Williams was given a rare honor with an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.