The Hockey Hall of Fame inducted its four newest members (from the players department) -- Mark Howe, Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk -- on Monday in Toronto. It was an emotional night for all of them, with each coming near -- or in the case of Gilmour succumbing to -- tears.
Of the four speeches, the one by Howe will be remembered the most. His speech began with him honoring the victims of the KHL crash that took the lives of everybody but one person aboard the flight in September. Of course, he played with the coach of the Lokomotiv team, Brad McCrimmon, who was on the plane when it crashed. That was an emotional start.
Here is the entirety of Howe's speech, from philly.com.
But it is how he finished his speech that was so memorable. After thanking all the members of his family, he saved his dad, none other than Gordie Howe, for last. To honor his father, he pulled out a Red Wings No. 9 jersey with Howe on the back and sported it to a large ovation. He then had some fond words for his dad and the two had a great moment.
I felt a little for Belfour, who had to follow up that show with his induction speech.
“We think very carefully about the numbers we retire,” Snider said. “I don’t want to say one thing one way or another, but I feel that anybody who was in the Hall of Fame that was a Philadelphia Flyer, their number should be retired.”
Personally, I love how Howe embraces the fact that he's the son of Mr. Hockey. It can be a tough spot to be the child of a legend, they are burdened by expectations just because of their name. Sometimes they try to forge their own path and don't want to be compared to their lineage. But Howe never really shied away from that, never more evident than his own enshrinement ceremony.