Better With Popcorn

Not just about Howe: Fans experience amazing night, too

In preparation of the jersey retirement ceremony honoring Philadelphia Flyers great Mark Howe, the organization went to great lengths to make the event something that everyone could enjoy.

While the night focused on Howe and his career, it was also an opportunity for the fans to enjoy the memories of teams from the past as well as the Hall of Fame career of probably the greatest defenseman they’ve ever seen wear an orange and black sweater.

Upon entering the arena, fans were presented with a poster with the headline of, ‘Mark Howe: Forever a Flyer’ that had pictures of the player throughout his career.

‘Forever a Flyer’ was the theme of the night. It paid homage to his speech from November when Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and stated that the Flyers’ orange and black would forever be a part of him.

He reiterated that sentiment on Tuesday night.

“As I said at my Hockey Hall of Fame induction speech in November, when I first came to Philadelphia back in 1982, it was as if I was born to be a Flyer,” he said. “The orange and black began to flow through my veins and instantly consumed my heart.  The memories of playing for the Flyers will be a part of me forever.” 

What was probably one of the most interesting parts of the night for fans was the fact that the organization put out displays with memorabilia from through out Howe’s career.

Located in the main concourse, there was a table with relics such as his sweaters, championship rings and awards.

Some notable pieces were his game worn gloves, he and his father’s sweaters from their time with the Houston Aeros and miniature replicas of all the awards he won throughout his career.

Also on display were all four of his Stanley Cup rings from his time with the Detroit Red Wings as a scout, a ring from the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo (silver medal finish), his WHA championship ring with the Aeros and his memorial cup championship with the Toronto Marlboros.

Upon entering the interior bowl of Wells Fargo Center, banners could be seen on either end of the arena with pictures of Howe and the words, ‘Forever a Flyer.’

In addition, Howe’s career stats continually wrapped around the LED screens above the mezzanine level as well as an image of the ‘Mark Howe Number Two’ banner waiving on the jumbo tron screen.

As homage to the guest of honor, the Flyers wore Howe’s jersey in warm-ups.

Both the warm-up jerseys and the team’s game jerseys had a patch on it that acknowledged the event. The patch was the Flyers logo with a number two as well as Howe’s name.

It is now the final time that any member of the Philadelphia Flyers will wear the number.

While the night may have been about one man, every one in attendance had a chance to take away plenty of memories from the special night.



Follow me on Twitter (@mattbrigidi) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Flyers Edition on Facebook to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an email: