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Honorary degree excites Mr. Hockey

Univ. of Saskatchewan to recognize Wings' great for philanthropy

Wednesday, 05.19.2010 / 12:30 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Honorary degree excites Mr. Hockey
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DETROIT – Mr. Hockey will soon become a doctor.

The University of Saskatchewan will honor legendary Red Wing Gordie Howe with an honorary degree during the school’s commencement ceremonies on June 3 in Saskatoon.

Known internationally for his contributions to hockey as well as his philanthropic endeavors through the Howe Foundation, a litany of honors and dedications have been bestowed upon Howe over the years.

Statues and community rinks have been erected in Howe’s honor, a middle school in British Columbia bares his name, and he’s received the Order of Canada, which signifies achievement and remarkable service to the nation.

But this will be his first honorary doctorate.  

“A diploma of any kind is fantastic,” said Howe, who recently received the university’s invitation my mail.

In a press release, the university identified Howe’s charitable work, “Which raises money for fees and equipment so children across North America can play hockey.” He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Honorary or not, he was asked if he thought it was strange –  knowing his rough-and-tumble hockey past – to be receiving a law degree, Howe laughed, and said, “I stayed within a few of them.”

A four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Red Wings in the 1950s, Howe, who grew-up on Avenue L North in Saskatoon – about two-miles west of the Saskatchewan campus – used to fish on the South Saskatchewan River and play pond hockey on university property with his boyhood friend, Frank Shedden.

“We used to ride our bicycles out there, and if their grass was being mowed and if they wanted it raked, we would rake it,” said Howe, a six-time Hart Trophy winner as the NHL’s most valuable player. “When they were moving heavy stuff into the university we would be there.

“We had a good understanding when I was about 12 (years-old) and we used to fish in their ponds out at the university. They were just nice people and they were very careful that I didn’t get too close to the fish ladder (on the river). If you fell into that thing, you’re a dead duck, so they were worried about that.”

Howe, who lives in suburban Detroit, said he returns to his old stomping grounds every other year or so. But this time will be a little different. His three sisters that live in the province have planned a barbeque during his six-day visit that will also include their brother Vic, who lives in Moncton, New Brunswick.

“It’s going to be nerve-racking,” Howe said. “You go back to the old people – and now I’m one of the old people – but you go back there, some 60-years, and the association that you have with the people, boy, you can’t remember all of them.”



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80