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Hockey Hall of Fame unveils ‘mountain of a man’ Gordie Howe statue

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

Gordie Howe

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TORONTO (AP) Gordie Howe is watching over the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame unveiled a nearly 8-foot statue of the late Detroit Red Wings star Friday. Howe’s sons, Mark and Marty, participated in the ceremony.

“When I was young I’d see all these kids come up to Gordie Howe and he looked like this mountain of a man,” said Mark Howe, a Hall of Fame inductee in 2011. “Now people from of all walks of life are going to come here and see he was truly a mountain of a man.

“For Dad to be honored this way, he would never say it but, yeah, he deserved it. I think the Hall has done a wonderful thing and Marty and I are glad to be here and try to continue the legacy of Gordie Howe.”

Howe died in June at 88.

The Hall of Fame also opened the NHL Centennial Exhibition, which pays tribute to the league’s top players and moments from 1917 to 2017. Some featured items include Jacques Plante’s first goalie mask, Howe’s 1960 Hart Trophy plaque, Bobby Orr’s knee brace, the stick and equipment Wayne Gretzky wore when he scored his 802nd career goal and the 1917 minute book that defined the birth of the NHL.

Related: Who’s No. 1? Gretzky, Lemieux and Orr say it’s Gordie Howe