The Malik Report
From ESPN's Michael Rothstein:
Wayne Gretzky doesn't have much say over these matters, but the man known as The Great One said Tuesday he would like to see Gordie Howe's No. 9 retired by the NHL in honor of his idol, Howe, who died Friday at age 88.
Gretzky's number, No. 99, is retired throughout the league. Gretzky wore No. 99 in honor of Howe.
"I'm pretty biased," Gretzky said during the public visitation for Howe at Joe Louis Arena. "If I had my way, I would do it. But that's for the league. I'm not involved with the league right now. But listen, whatever they choose to do is going to be very special because Gordie deserves something really special and unique.
"I don't think anybody helped promote, support the game, the sport or our country better than Gordie Howe. He was proud to be a Canadian, proud to be from Saskatchewan. And I don't think the NHL is going to overlook the fact of how important he was to the game so I'm sure they are going to do something real special for him."
Continued, and if you think about Howe, Bobby Hull, Maurice Richard and all the other special players who wore #9, it's not such a crazy idea...
Updated 15x at 3:50 PM: The first Gordie Howe memorial post is full and unable to hold any more content, so here's a second entry regarding the Tweets and stories from today's memorial service:
Today's Slapshot's Chris Nichols reports that TSN's Bob McKenzie gave a summary of the NHL's trade front while on Vancouver's TSN 1040 this morning, and here's what McKenzie had to say about the Red Wings (via RedWingsFeed):
“The Detroit Red Wings, I think, want to make some big moves. They want to move Datsyuk’s contract. They’d probably love to give up a guy like Jurco or Pulkkinen in order to facilitate that. But I think they want to try and clear the decks, and if Steven Stamkos becomes available, I think they might be inclined to be a player on that front.
I've been updating the Gordie Howe visitation post with lots of Tweets and articles regarding Mr. Hockey, but these Twitter videos from the Red Wings merit their own post:
Luke Glendening took part in the Meijer LPGA Classic's pro-am on Tuesday morning, and afterward, he spoke with the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about the Wings' early playoff exit and their goals for the upcoming season:
Luke Glendening thought the Detroit Red Wings did a good job last season in the transition to a new coach, was pleased the team made the playoffs for a 25th consecutive year, but he also left no doubt what's ahead.
"We had a lot of transition, but we had a lot of the same players," said the fourth-year center. "Obviously, the leadership in Detroit is great. But we all have to get better."
At this time of year, there is uncertainly on who will play where and in what role along with free agent rumors, trade talks and what Pavel Datsyuk plans are for the future. But Glendening, who was at the Meijer LPA Classic for Simply Give at Egypt Valley Country Club on Tuesday, said he blocks that out and concentrates on getting better.
"There's speculation about trades and what Pav's going to do and all that," he said. "But at the end of the day, the guys that are there, we have to get better and we have to perform better."
Given the day, this seems appropriate for a blog entry: According to Sportsnet's Luke Fox, there's a simple reason why Cameron Frye wore a Red Wings jersey in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which premiered 30 years ago this month:
Well, thanks to some nice reporting from MEL's John McDermott, we now have an answer for why Frye repped Mr. Hockey on his back.
“John had spent some of his boyhood in Detroit,” Alan Ruck, the actor who played Cameron, told McDermott. “[Hughes] had decided that Cameron had a horrible relationship with his father, but a great relationship with his grandfather, who lived in Detroit and would take Cameron to Red Wings games. That’s all it was, and it was never explained in the movie.”
When things take a wrong turn for Frye in the movie, Bueller looks at the camera and says, "Here's where Cameron goes berserk."
You can imagine one of Howe's teammates saying the same thing — "Here's where Gordie goes berserk" — from the bench after Howe got sticked.
“The psychology was that [the sweater] was something that made Cameron feel good about himself, even though he was a Chicago kid,” Ruck added.
“If you look at the rest of what I wear [in the film], it’s pretty straightforward — khaki pants and loafers. Nothing too crazy. [Cameron] was kind of a bottled-up kid, and his dad was authoritarian and had a lot of rules. The Red Wings jersey was his own little act of defiance—of saying, ‘This is who I am.’ ”
According to Pro Hockey Talk's Joey Alfieri, a gentleman named Brandon Dalton has created a petition to have Gordie Howe grace the cover of EA Sports' NHL 17 instead of Vladimir Tarasenko. The petition is several hundred signatures short of the 5,000 signature goal.
As an FYI for those of you planning to attend Gordie Howe's funeral mass at Detroit's Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, from the Catholic News Service's Mike Stechschulte:
Cathedral staff had no way of predicting how many people would attend the Mass, which was open to the public. The church seats only about 900 people.
About 500 family members and dignitaries — including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, members of the team-owning Ilitch family and Red Wings past and present, not to mention other NHL greats such as Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr — were expected to attend. Mech said television stations and media outlets from across North America will cover the Mass.
In anticipation of overflow crowds, a sound system was set up outside for those unable to get into the cathedral. Police were to close Woodward Avenue outside the cathedral during the Mass.
“We have a ton of security all around for lots of different reasons,” [Father J.J.] Mech said.
Mr. Howe, who scored 801 career goals — second only to Gretzky in that department — is about as close to Detroit royalty as anyone, Mech noted.
“No doubt, we are truly Hockeytown. That’s our name, and you can’t think about that without thinking about Gordie Howe,” he said. “With such a class act that he has been, we are proud to have him — even though he’s Canadian — as our second son.”
Updated 13x at 12:54 PM: The Red Wings are live-streaming the Gordie Howe memorial ceremony...
NHL.com's Dave Stubbs took fans through what they'll see at the Joe...
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.