January 17, 2015

Dean Prentice Made Gordie Howe Smile

This is Dean Prentice, a long time warrior in the National Hockey League. He played 22 years in the league, from 1952 through 1974. As a checking winger, that's a lot of meetings against the intimidating Gordie Howe.

Ah, but Prentice was a wily one and he tried every trick in the book to get Gordie off of his game - no easy task. At least once, Prentice resorted to comedy.

After needling Howe rather tenaciously on one play, Howe reportedly snarled "You keep on bothering me and I'll knock every tooth out of your head!"

The witty Prentice immediately snapped back, "I'm afraid somebody's already beaten you to it," and then flashed a bare-gummed grin!

Howe didn't pummel Prentice that time around. He chuckled and skated away. Prentice earned Howe's respect, and probably took a big sigh of relief.

Prentice was a durable and consistent winger who played nearly 1400 games - amazing in any era - with the Rangers, Bruins, Red Wings, Penguins and North Stars.  Nine times he scored at least 20 goals.

Prentice goes down as one of the more underrated players in hockey history. 

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