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The Malik Report

Mr. Hockey’s 85th birthday won’t be a low-key affair for Mr. Hockey’s sake

The Detroit Red Wings and several other teams wished Gordie Howe a happy 85th birthday on Wednesday, but Howe's health is up and down, and he's dealing with a "mild cognitive impairment," so Mark and Marty Howe told the Canadian Press that they're just hoping for the best regarding Howe's birthday on Sunday:

"We're hoping this will be a nice birthday, and we'll have a good time with Dad and all," son Mark said in a recent interview. "His memory loss is getting to the point where it's almost becoming difficult to do a lot of interaction with Dad. I'm sure this [birthday] will go well, but a year from now, I don't know what life's going to bring. So we're going to make the best of it."

Howe's family revealed just over a year ago that the hockey legend has a mild form of dementia.Despite his health issues, Howe began celebrating his milestone birthday in early March when he attended a ceremony at a Vancouver Giants game.

Prior to Sunday's birthday dinner, he'll take in a Red Wings-Blackhawks game. And the events won't end Sunday. Howe will make another appearance at a Red Wings game against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday and attend charity hockey games in Calgary, Edmonton and possibly Vancouver in the coming weeks.

But Howe's family is especially looking forward to seeing him Sunday. He has spent recent months with daughter Cathy at her home in Texas where he enjoys the warm weather. He stays with sons Marty, Murray and Mark at other times during the year.

"I haven't seen Dad since just before Christmas," said Mark, the Red Wings' head pro scout. "Birthday or no birthday, I'm just looking forward to seeing him."

The same holds true for fans, who still can't get enough of Mr. Hockey.

"He's just an easygoing guy," said Marty. "You can talk to him for five minutes and think you've been friends for 30 years. That's always been his secret, I think."

Continued with heady praise from Bobby Hull and Scotty Bowman.

Update:

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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.