The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/28/11 at 06:01 PM ET
Mark Howe only played for the Red Wings for three seasons, but the team’s director of pro scouting’s career spanned three decades and two leagues, the NHL and WHA, and as such, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame today. The case for Howe’s HHOF candidacy involves his longevity and WHA titles (though he’s been with the Wings front office since 1995, and as such, owns four Stanley Cup rings), as suggested by Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski:
Why Howe? Bill Fleischman’s 2008 piece from the Flyers website makes the case:
He’s a three-time first-team NHL all-star defenseman. In his first six seasons with the Flyers, he scored 115 goals operating from the blue line. During his 22-year pro hockey career, he collected 405 goals and 1,246 points and has a +400 rating. He is the youngest hockey player to ever win an Olympic medal.
Yet, Mark Howe is still not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
He is now. More from Bill Houston back in 2006. This is a long, long time coming.
Howe predictably offered an understated and appreciative comment to the NHL for their official release…
Howe, whose father is Gordie Howe, was a three-time First-team NHL All-Star and played in four All-Star Games. He had a career-high 24 goals and 82 points in 1985-86 with the Flyers. He also played six seasons in the World Hockey Association, mostly as a forward.
“I was elated to have this dream come true given that it is a tremendous honor just to have my name mentioned with the upper echelon of hockey,” said Howe, who has been eligible for induction since 1998. “To actually have my name in the Hall of Fame with my Dad will mean so much to my family.”
Via NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, however, Howe said the following:
Howe: “I’m still shaking. I never dreamed this would ever happen to me.”
Howe: “I just know what a tremendous day this is for my dad. It makes me very emotional and it brings a tear to my eye.”
Howe says only regret with Wings was not taking the No. 9 out of the rafters and wearing it for a game. Gordie asked him why he didn’t.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan took note of Howe’s longevity...
Howe, currently the director of pro scouting for the Red Wings, had 197 goals and 742 points in 929 NHL games with the Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers and Red Wings.
“It is a tremendous honor just to have my name mentioned with the upper echelon of hockey,” said Howe. “To actually have my name in the Hall of Fame with my dad will mean so much to my family.”
Howe closed his NHL career with three seasons in Detroit, from 1992-95.
Howe began his career in the World Hockey Association, starring with the Houston Aeros and the New England Whalers.
Howe was a three-time runner-up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman and twice appeared in the Stanley Cup finals with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Howe, the son of Red Wings legend Gordie, had 1,246 points over 22 seasons split between the World Hockey Association and the NHL. Howe was a six-time NHL all-star.
Former Wing Aaron Ward had this to say via Twitter...
Congrats Mark Howe on HHOF.Played my first NHL shift w/ him in ‘93 w/ Red Wings.Best example of a TRUE PRO to those who ever played with him
And, via RedWingsFeed, the Wings’ website posted the Hockey Hall of Fame’s announcement of Howe’s induction…
As well as the HHOF’s calls to all four inductees:
Howe, Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmour took part in an hour-long conference call with the media, so I’ll post quips and quotes from the call when they surface.
Update #2: Here’s DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose on Howe’s induction:
“I know that Jimmy Devellano had been doing a lot of leg work and pushing for me. Between him and Scotty (Bowman) and Mike Emrick all the work paid off,” Mark Howe told DetroitRedWings.com in an exclusive phone interview. “It’s one of those things that I never thought would happen. The last couple of years I’ve gotten close, but you get to the point where you don’t think it’s going to happen. You get that phone call, and it just kind of shocked me. You can’t explain what a tremendous honor it is. It’s something that I’ve never dreamt of, but I know how much it means to dad.”
Gordie Howe, who was inducted in 1972, was the only person that Mark wasn’t able to share his news with Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve talked to my kids, but dad is traveling to Toronto today, so I haven’t gotten to speak to him yet.” A converted forward, Mark Howe played 16 NHL seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers and Red Wings. He began is pro career at 18-years-old with the WHA’s Houston Areos, and played on a line with older brother, Marty, and their famous dad. After four years in Houston, the Howes signed on with the New England Whalers, where Mark and Gordie remained following the WHA-NHL merger.
“For me, I spent my whole life as a forward and then midstream in my career – the year of the merger – I got moved from forward to defense, and I became an All-Star as a defenseman two or three years later,” Mark said. “That’s a hard transition that takes a long time. It takes a real commitment. It was something that was asked of me by the team, so you put aside your personal goals and do what’s good for the team.”
Mark Howe finished his 22-season playing career with 405 goals and 841 assists in 1,355 games, including his final three seasons with the Red Wings between 1992 and 1995. Born in Detroit, Howe wrapped up his career by scoring eight goals with 56 assists in 122 games with the Red Wings. But the most impressive statistics of Howe’s career is his astonishing overall +653 rating.
“That means a lot to me. It’s big when you’re on the ice scoring goals and you’re not being scored-against,” said Howe, the Red Wings’ director of pro scouting. “I know I did a lot of good things offensively, but I probably took more pride in not being scored-against, and only the guys that I played with only know that.”
Howe was first eligible for enshrinement in 1998, three years after his final season in Detroit. He won’t dwell on the past and the length of time it took to get into the Hall. Time is too short, Howe said.
“I never thought that I would make it to this Hall of Fame,” he said. “I’m definitely excited. I’m emotional. But it’s all in a good way.”
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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.