Howe 'honored' to have his number retired on Tuesday
It’s something everyone can relate to.
The desire to be remembered is a goal that the majority of people can say that they strive to achieve.
No matter what the craft, hobby or profession, to have people remember what you have done far beyond your years is an honor rewarded only to a handful of extraordinary individuals.
This is especially true in professional sports.
For that reason alone, it’s understandable why the last 12 months have been rather humbling for former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman, Mark Howe.
On Tuesday night, the Flyers organization will honor Howe as only the fifth member in franchise history to have his jersey number retired.
“It is not something you think about,” he said on Thursday night. “It is just a continuation of a personal year for me that has been incredible.”
In June, he was informed that he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, an occasion that paid homage to his wonderful 22-year professional career that spanned all the way back to his days in the WHA.
“I was totally unaware of what was going on,” Howe said to reporters back in November when asked about his nomination to the Hall of Fame. “The phone call really caught me off guard… It took my breath away.”
Shortly after that he received a similar phone call.
"It was right after the Hall of Fame,” Howe said on Thursday. “Ed Snider gave me a call and I kind of laughed.
“He started off the conversation with what I was doing on March 6th. I said I hadn't planned my schedule out that far in advanced. He said the Red Wings were going to be playing in Philadelphia and I said that I would probably be at the game then.”
After retiring from playing, Howe took a job with the Detroit Red Wings as a player scout. He has been with the team since the 1995-96 season, has earned four Stanley Cup rings during that time and is now the team’s Director of Pro Scouting.
Although he is no stranger to Wells Fargo Center seeing as how he comes to scout games, the Red Wings visit on Tuesday night proved to be the perfect opportunity to honor him.
“[Mr. Snider] said do you mind if I retire your jersey? So, I was pretty excited about it,” Howe said. “It was the highest honor you could receive in the Philadelphia Flyers organization."
In addition to the raising of the banner, the Flyers will provide a video homage to Howe’s career as well as have the number two painted into the ice behind both goals.
His number two will now join the likes of Bernie Parent, Bill Barber, Bobby Clarke and Barry Ashbee in the rafters of Wells Fargo Center as a testament to greatness.
“To be singled out from the players that played in the 1980's and to be put up in the rafters with [Bernie Parent] , [Bobby Clarke], and [Bill Barber]... I look up to those guys and I have a lot of respect for them,” Howe said. “They set the standard for what it means to be a Flyer. For me to have my jersey number up there with them speaks volumes for me. It is a great honor."
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