Before Saskatoon begins to commemorate the life and legacy of Gordie Howe, his grandson Corey took the time on Saturday to preview a Hockey Hall of Fame display at SaskTel Centre.
“My original thoughts were how blown away I was about the outpouring of support and love for my grandpa. Just to see how much he affected and influenced people was really cool,” Corey Howe explained.
The display items were hand picked by Philip Pritchard, vice-president and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“We tried to make an exhibit that covered his entire career,” explained the keeper of the cup. “To narrow it down was quite a feat, to get it to just these two cases.”
The display can be seen at Sunday’s Blades game. Prior to the home opener there will be a special ceremony and players will wear commemorative jerseys, which will be auctioned off afterward.
Proceeds will be going to the Gordie Howe Alzheimer’s Fund.
“He represents the hockey world well, being a Canadian well and being a human well. The impact Gordie Howe has had on hockey and his country is unbelievable,” Pritchard said.
But it’s the impact Gordie had on his family that Corey will remember most.
“He’s funny, hard working, really kind and just a great role model,” said Howe’s grandson.
Alongside Corey, around 60 members of the Howe family will be in attendance for a private ceremony Sunday morning. Gordie and his wife Colleen’s ashes will be interred at the base of the Howe statue outside SaskTel Centre.
“I think it’s perfect, I couldn’t imagine a better spot for it,” said Corey.
Howe’s family will also make stops at the newly named Gordie Howe Bridge (formerly Circle Drive South Bridge), one of his childhood homes and school.