Two days ago Mr. Hockey died. For those unfamiliar, Mr. Hockey is the loving nickname given to Gordie Howe, who was a hockey legend and widely considered one of the best hockey players ever, if not the best. If you ask Wayne Gretzky who he looked up to and who his idol was, he’ll tell you it was Gordie Howe. If you were previously unaware, Gordie Howe wore number 9 on his jersey. Wayne Gretzky chose 99 in a tribute to Mr. Hockey.
He was born in a barn in Saskatchewan. As it was during the depression, they had nothing and at some point someone was going door to door selling bags of stuff for a dollar which is how he got his first pair of skates. Once he officially made it in the NHL he bought his parents a brand new home and it even had running water.
As far as trophies go he had four Stanley Cups, six Hart trophies, and six Art Ross trophies. He was and still is a hockey legend.
Oh, and ever heard of the Gordie Howe Hat trick? It’s defined as having a goal, an assist, and a fight in a game.
Back in 1992 or 1993, Mr. Hockey himself came to a local mall and you can bet we showed up and stood in line for however long to get autographs and meet him. I even have picture proof for you. He was a great hockey player, but in my opinion not a big fan of kids. Either way, he will forever be remembered as Mr. Hockey.
Moving on to Mr. Dupuis. Pascal Dupuis started the season playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After suffering several blood clots he was eventually told by doctors that playing another game in the NHL could kill him. He was forced to retire due to his health. As you might imagine, his story speaks to me. He might be my NHL spirit animal in fact, if that was a thing.
Due to retiring medically half way through this season, he has still very much been a part of the team and in the locker room. When tonight’s game was starting to look pretty good for the Penguins, he went to the locker room and suited up (SUIT UP! – said in my best Barney voice) one last time to come onto the ice and hoist the cup.
I have to go eat cereal out of the Stanley Cup now to celebrate. GO PENGUINS!
P.S. I totally, TOTALLY won the NHL playoff bracket. For my prize I’ll take a Stanley Cup replica and some wheat bran please.