We all know Gordie Howe from his record-seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and the Hartford Whalers. He scored 801 regular season NHL goals, which is still unbroken to this day, has 1,049 regular NHL season assists, and has starred in a record 23 All-Star Games. But why are they arguing about the illness upon their father?
The reason Marty is against the fact is that he just see’s it as memory loss. “He’s always worse in the evening,” Marty said. “It’s like when the sun goes down, something flips the switch.” But Murray, a radiologist, says otherwise. He says it’s a mild case of memory loss and is turning into dementia, which took the life of their mother and Gordie’s wife, Colleen, in 2009. “He has what we call mild cognitive impairment,” Murray said. “His brain power is not what it used to be. In terms of the prognosis and diagnosis, it’s still wide open.” “He’s still Mr. Hockey and that’s what is so great because he’s just such a pleasure to have around, he’ll wake up first thing in the morning and there’s a bunch of leaves outside and he’ll rake for three hours.”
It’s a good thing he isn’t losing his personality, because from people who have known him know he is great man. Steve Yzerman explains the first meeting between the two when he was first drafted at age 18 to the Detroit Red Wings. “I was only 18 years old and just drafted by the Red Wings, and casually, I remember Gordie just walking down the hall at Joe Louis Arena. Obviously, I recognized him, every Canadian would recognize Gordie Howe. He was just down to earth and said, ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ For me, I was very nervous meeting him and somewhat intimidated because I knew who he was forever, so it was just a shock to see him in person. He’s very humble and a very easy person to be around. You’re intimidated by the name initially, but as soon as you meet him he makes you feel comfortable.”
His extraordinary talent, fame and allure helped the NHL to expand by over 350% during his tenure and also spawn a whole new league-the World Hockey Association. When he retired from the sport he held more records than any team athlete in history. On that note, he is heavily supported by hockey fans new and old, man and woman, Canadian, Russian, or American. Mr. Hockey’s legacy will live on forever, no matter what disease faces him.
Gordie Howe website: http://www.gordiehowe.com/?p=55
Joe Pelletier’s Greatest Hockey Legends website: http://www.greatesthockeylegends.com/2011/03/steve-yzerman-on-gordie-howe.html