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Abel to Yzerman

Mark Howe Knew It Was Time To Retire

from Mark Falkner of the Detroit News,

In typical Mark Howe fashion, his recent retirement announcement was almost an afterthought and done as quietly and under the radar as the way the 66-year-old former defenseman with the Detroit Red Wings conducted himself during a 48-year career in professional hockey.

This past summer, Howe walked into Steve Yzerman's office and told the Red Wings' general manager that he was stepping down as the team's director of pro scouting after 16 seasons.

"I think Stevie was set back a little bit when I told him," Howe said. "Then I brought up the same thing to him that I used to ask my dad about retirement. I said, 'Steve, you were a player. Why did you retire?' And, in his words to me, he said, 'I get it.'"

Howe's last day on the job was June 30, 2021. And with that, the son of Red Wings legend Gordie Howe ended his own Hockey Hall of Fame career without much fanfare or even a press release. Just a handshake and recognition of a job well done.

"I can remember asking dad, 'How do you know when it's time to retire?'" Howe said. "His answer would always be, 'Well, you'll know.' I would say, 'Dad, that's a stupid answer and you're not helping me one iota.' He said, 'Don't worry. You'll know.'

continued (paid)

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Comments

RWBill's avatar

I knew it was time to retire when the people that replaced my supervisors of 20 years were stupider than they were.  And as I’d qualified for a pension it wasn’t worth the extra couple of dollars per month that the frustrating additional service time would have brought to try and train them.

Posted by RWBill on 11/23/21 at 10:56 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

And after making this column all about myself, Gordie’s sons were all quite remarkable in their own way as well as Mr. Hockey was himself.

Posted by RWBill on 11/23/21 at 10:58 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

And with that, the son of Red Wings legend Gordie Howe ended his own Hockey Hall of Fame career without much fanfare or even a press release. Just a handshake and recognition of a job well done.

Working in the back-of-house like Howe did, these guys do so much work that goes unnoticed and unrecognized.  I guess it’s one of those jobs where if you do a good job, people don’t know who you are.  Probably pretty darn thankless work, but also incredibly important for the organization’s success.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/23/21 at 11:27 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Probably pretty darn thankless work, but also incredibly important for the organization’s success.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/23/21 at 11:27 AM ET

For sure, anonymous and without recognition except by those within the organization.

Posted by RWBill on 11/23/21 at 11:46 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Nice job being late to this story and then burying it behind a paywall.

Hockey coverage in Detroit is an afterthought by all media.

Lions audition replacement kickers and there are 3 tv news stories, and front page newspaper headlines.

The Hall of Fame Son of Gordie Howe retires and it gets almost zero attention.

Funny, the media people in Toronto seemed to know about. Hockey coverage by Detroit free media is a joke.

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/23/21 at 01:44 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I’d say this was more a fault on Red Wings ownership and management to recognize Howe than it is on Detroit’s media to dig up the story. 

A press release thanking him for his many years of service and a nice photo with plaque at the very least is what should have been done.

Now if they did something privately and Howe specifically requested no public press then I’ll gladly take it back…but it looks Mickey Mouse-ish on the organization to not have done something in public.

Posted by d ca on 11/24/21 at 02:18 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com