Flyers, NHL mourn passing of ‘Mr. Hockey’

Friday morning brought the sad news of the passing of Gordie Howe at the age of 88.

As the NHL learned of a loss of a legend, tributes began pouring in from some of the greatest members of the hockey community, including several Flyers.

From NHL commissioner Gary Bettman:

All hockey fans grieve the loss of the incomparable Gordie Howe.

"A remarkable athlete whose mastery of our sport was reflected by the longevity of his career and by his nickname, ‘Mr. Hockey,’ Gordie’s commitment to winning was matched only by his commitment to his teammates, to his friends, to the Red Wings, to the city of Detroit and – above all – to his family. His devotion to Colleen through her illness and the fact that he extended his playing days into a fifth decade so he could play with his sons are only two examples of that true priority in his life. 

"Gordie’s greatness travels far beyond mere statistics; it echoes in the words of veneration spoken by countless players who joined him in the Hockey Hall of Fame and considered him their hero.  

"Gordie’s toughness as a competitor on the ice was equaled only by his humor and humility away from it. No sport could have hoped for a greater, more-beloved ambassador. 

"On behalf of the generations who were thrilled by his play and those who only know of his legend, and on behalf of all the young people and teammates he inspired, we send heartfelt wishes of condolence, comfort and strength to the Howe family and to all who mourn the passing of this treasured icon of our game."

From Flyers president Paul Holmgren:

"On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, our deepest condolences go out to Mark Howe and the rest of the Howe family on the passing of Gordie Howe. Gordie was a tremendous player and ambassador for the game of hockey. He was a true gentlemen and will be missed by all."

From Flyers legend Bobby Clarke:

“So many generations of players wanted to play like Gordie Howe. He was the ultimate professional hockey player.”

From Flyers legend Bernie Parent:

“He is what hockey is. He represented the game so well. To me, he was a champion in so many ways, as a player, as a person, as a father and in all kinds of ways. He was always kind to people and a great individual. We’re going to miss him.”

Many other great players and members of the hockey community have also weighed in.

In addition, members of the Flyerdelphia staff took to Twitter to pay tribute to Mr. Hockey.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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