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The Malik Report

Mr. Hockey, barely here

Late last night, ESPN's Craig Custance revealed that Red Wings legend Gordie Howe may make his last public appearances at today and tomorrow's Red Wings games, and this morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James reveals the heart-breaking truth behind his familys decision to finally pull Howe from the public eye:

Howe hasn't been around as much the past few years, as dementia slowly has taken over his life, progressing from mild to intermediate. Son Mark Howe, a scout for the Wings, said Gordie "is struggling. I think his memory might be down to two minutes, maybe five on a good day."

Howe is never left alone any more. He has been in Detroit staying with old friends for about a week. Before that, he was with his daughter, Cathy, in Texas. Howe stayed with Mark, in Philadelphia, for 10 days around Christmas.

"All you have to do is make oatmeal for him in the morning, then have a cookie or apple pie or chocolate ice cream before bed, and then he's happy," Mark said. "But if it's not someone that he knows who's with him, he really struggles. He was watching the Wings game the other night, and after two periods he put on his coat and made to leave. He said he was going to see Sid Abel at the end of the street. That's the first I'd heard of that kind of thing. But that's the stage he's at."

Continued, and Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall and, in the rest of St. James' story, Pavel Datsyuk also talk about Howe's lingering influence upon them:

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Comments

Red Winger's avatar

85 is a good, long life. May his finals days/months be as peaceful as possible.

Thanks for wearing the Whinged Wheel, and wearing it proudly.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/31/13 at 11:22 AM ET

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prayers.  here is to hoping they found a cure one day for this kind of thing.  Has to be the worst feeling of all for surviving family when this happens.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 03/31/13 at 12:13 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Sadness doesn’t adequately describe how I feel.  This man was an idol of my childhood.  Mr. Howe was and remains a role model for my life.  Happy Birthday Sir to a great hockey player but an even better man.  Thank you.

Posted by calquake on 03/31/13 at 12:33 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Such a shame that that has to happen to people !!  sick

Posted by Evilpens on 03/31/13 at 01:51 PM ET

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Probably the best moments of my time in the media was any opportunity to speak with Gordie. This is very, very sad news and my prayers are with Gordie and the Howe family.

Posted by pcoffey on 03/31/13 at 02:21 PM ET

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So very sad. I spent part of my childhood as a neighbour of the Howe’s. I remember how my mom and Colleen would chat for what seemed like hours at the grocery store at the corner of Long Lake and Square Lake Rds. Murray would keep us (Marty, Mark, Cathy and I) entertained…well, he kept me entertained…And my mom would not leave the Olympia Room until Colleen did because she didn’t want Colleen sitting there waiting for Gordie. Now Colleen waits for Gordie to join her….my dad (who was 3 months younger than Gordie) left us last May (my mom has been gone since 2003)...and I think Gordie isn’t going to be here much longer.

From the back yard in Bloomfield Hills, church on Sundays at Kirk-in-the-Hills, to the back halls of the old Olympia, to picnics at Greer’s in Augusta….I have such great memories thanks to you…..

Love and Respect Always,

your old neighbour, teri donovan

Posted by tdspringer on 04/01/13 at 05:04 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Sadness doesn’t adequately describe how I feel.  This man was an idol of my childhood.  Mr. Howe was and remains a role model for my life.  Happy Birthday Sir to a great hockey player but an even better man.  Thank you.

Posted by calquake on 03/31/13 at 12:33 PM ET

+9.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/01/13 at 05:30 PM ET

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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.