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Hockey legend Gordie Howe, former Red Wing, dies at age 88

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Another legend has passed.

Gordie Howe, also known as Mr. Hockey, has died at the age of 88.

Howe played until he was 52. He spent 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. He made 23 All-Star Games and won four Stanley Cups. He won six Hart Trophies as MVP and six Art Ross trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer. He played in 1,767 games.

“It was very saddening to hear the news of Gordie’s passing this morning,” Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. “He has been an icon not only in Detroit, but throughout the entire hockey world for as long as I can remember. 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.

Tampa Bay Lightning founder Phil Esposito, also a Hockey Hall of Famer, remembers his first time on the ice. Six seconds later, Howe had elbowed him in the mouth, and Esposito, who had swung his stick in retaliation, was on his way to the penalty box.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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