Mark Howe played 16 NHL seasons, and even after a Hall of Fame-caliber career, he could never completely erase the shadow of Mr. Hockey, his father Gordie. That's more a credit to the unbelievable hockey player his father was, not a discredit to his own career, but it goes to show just how much of an influence coming from a hockey family can have.
On Monday night, as he joined his father in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Mark Howe paid tribute to his father. It was Gordie's wish that Mark would wear his No. 9 Red Wings jersey just once during his career, and while he never had the opportunity to do that during his playing days, he was still able to fulfill it.
Some of the speech, as transcribed by NHL.com:
"I guess there is one person left to thank in this building," he then said, referring to his dad. "I'm not going to thank you for being my linemate for six years and I'm not going to thank you for elbowing the guy who may have taken a dirty shot at me. I'm not going to thank you for being the greatest hockey player ever. I want to thank you for being the husband, father and grandfather you are. You are the role model that led my life. I'm so proud to call you my dad."
Howe also payed tribute to the players lost in the Lokomotiv tragedy, in particular the loss of his former defensive partner, Brad McCrimmon. The best days of Howe's career were spent alongside McCrimmon in the 1980s, when the two toed the blueline for the Philadelphia Flyers.