Showing posts with label Mark Howe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Howe. Show all posts

November 03, 2013

Mark Howe on Mario Lemieux

"Mario Lemieux was as good as anybody I've ever seen play the game. Skill-wise, one-on-one, when Mario was on his game – even when Brad McCrimmon and I were partners – there were some shifts we came to the bench and we were just covered in snow from trying to swim and dive and just catch up with the guy. But it was great. Because it was such a terrific challenge. And you knew you were going to get embarrassed because he was such a great player. But it was worth the embarrassment."

March 30, 2013

Mark and Marty on Gordie Howe

"I don't know if it ever dawned on me that my dad was a famous hockey player. To me, he was my dad. People would ask, 'What does he do for work,' and I'd say, 'He really doesn't work. He plays hockey.' I didn't think of it as a job, he was just having fun playing hockey." - Marty Howe

"I've always looked at my dad as a kind, gentle person, and he has such a great charisma. He has a certain gift and people respond to him. He's very quiet and doesn't say much.

"I think a lot of it probably has to do with his upbringing. My dad was always taught to keep your eyes open, your ears open and your mouth shut and you'll learn a lot. He was taught to respect everybody and everything. He does have a certain charisma that not too many people that I've seen have. He has an actual way with people and to me, that's something that you're born with. He has a way of winning over people by just being who he is." - Mark Howe

January 08, 2013

Who's Better? Mark Howe vs. Phil Housley

Last week we looked Phil Housley and whether or not he should be elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Interestingly, I probably got more feedback on this HHOF Worthy feature than most. Quite a few people disagreed with my stance that Housley should remain on the bubble and not be included in the Hall.

A fellow named "Lee Shoe" presented the best case for Housley's inclusion, comparing him to another Hall of Fame defenseman from (more or less) the same era: Mark Howe.

Here's Shoe's interesting analysis (click to enlarge):

As you can see Housley and Howe had remarkably similar careers. Two offensive defensemen who also played left wing. Very similar statistics and resumes. At first I thought this was a very convincing quantitative argument.

But statistical comparisons are a dangerous way to evaluate players. Hockey statistics offer incomplete pictures of players at best. The passage of time often allow us to overlook the qualitative side of things, and that where Howe dominates over Housley.

Mark Howe was undoubtedly the better defensive defenseman. In fact it's not even close. Because he was a skill d-man who played quietly in terms of physicality, his steady, positional defensive game was almost underrated then and time has underrated him even more now. Mark Howe was the whole package. I saw one comparison of Howe to Scott Niedermayer. In terms of style of play, I think that is warranted.

Housley was a power play specialist and an offensive defenseman. He was very good - even elite - at what he did. But Housley was, as I already stated, an consistent adventure in his own zone. Another emailer compared Housley to Sergei Gonchar, which seems fair to me.

Housley was a Norris Trophy nominee just once in his career, while Howe was runner-up three times. More impressively, Howe was a Hart Trophy finalist as league MVP in 1985-86. Housley never came close to achieving that.

The playoffs are where hockey heroes are made. Housley made it to the Stanley Cup final just once, with Washington late in his career. He was then waived and released, if that means anything. Howe, meanwhile, made it to three Stanley Cup finals, and was an undoubtedly more significant contributor to those three runs.  Neither ever won the Stanley Cup, by the way.

Moreover, Mr. Shoe also conveniently handcuffs Howe's playoff totals. Howe spent his first six seasons playing in the WHA, winning two Avco Cup championships. (We'll disregard his 41 goals, 92 points in 75 playoff games because he played as a forward.). Now I'm no big fan of the WHA, but it was a major league and Howe was a champion. We can not ignore that.

If you offered me the choice of either Mark Howe or Phil Housley to build a team around, the choice is obvious: Mark Howe.

Lastly, Mark Howe had to wait 16 seasons before he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. To me that indicates that the HHOF selection committee used Howe as the standard for inclusion, but set the bar just a bit higher. The Hall can be rightfully criticized for some choices at forward, they have high standards on defense and in goal. If Howe was the standard for all those years, I'm not so convinced Housley will get in anytime soon.

November 14, 2011

The Write Stuff: HHOF Inductions

One of the best things about Hockey Hall of Fame weekend is the countless high quality writing put out on each inductee. Here's some of the best:

Mark Howe

Mark Howe: His Own Man - Lance Hornby/Toronto Sun
Tears of joy for Gordie Howe as son joins him in HHOF - Globe and Mail
Remembering Howe Hockey Was Played - TORO Magazine
Mark Howe At Last In HHOF - Jeff Klein/New York Times
Howe likely WHA star in HHOF - Bruce McCurdy

Ed Belfour

Unmatched Competitive Fire Key to Belfour's Success - Toronto Star
Ed Belfour's Manic Dedication - ESPN
Desire For Perfection Led To Unique Habits - Montreal Gazette
He Was Demanding, But Belfour Always Delivered - National Post
Belfour's Road to HHOF Inspired by Tretiak - Globe and Mail

Joe Nieuwendyk

The Winning Touch - Toronto Sun
Nieuwendyk Ensured Everyone Knew His Name - NHL
Lacrosse Skills Helped Nieuwendyk - NHL
Nieuwendyk Truly Deserving of HHOF Induction: Dallas Stars

Doug Gilmour

Gilmour Led With Killer Intensity - CBC
Gilmour's Path To HHOF Paved With Grit - Calgary Herald
Gilmour's Rise To The Top Wasn't Easy - National Post
Gilmour Always Played Big - Standard Freeholder
Gilmour: In His Own Words: London Free Press

Hockey Hall of Fame 2011

Mark Howe

Make no mistake: Mark Howe was not Gordie Howe, his legendary father. But Mark too was a great player.

Gordie Howe was a fearsome physical presence and a goal scoring machine. Mark Howe was one of the steadiest, cleanest and most accomplished players of the 1970s and 1980s.

Full Mark Howe Biography

Joe Nieuwendyk

Joe Nieuwendyk was a winner. He won three Stanley Cup championships with three different teams - Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey. Plus he won an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2002.

In 1999 he was so important to Dallas' Stanley Cup championship that he was named as the Conn Smythe trophy winner - about as prestigious of an individual award a hockey player can earn.

Full Joe Nieuwendyk biography

Ed Belfour

Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour has a tremendous resume with a Stanley Cup championship (1999), a Canada Cup title (1991), Olympic Gold Medal (2002), 2 Vezina trophies, 4 Jennings trophies, 484 career wins (3rd best all time), 76 shutouts (9th all time).

Known for his explosive personality Belfour is generally considered to be on par with his contemporaries Dominik Hasek, Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. And it is now proven with his Hall of Fame inclusion. 

Full Ed Belfour Biography

Doug Gilmour

Doug Gilmour has reputation as a hockey warrior. He was an imperative piece of the 1989 Stanley Cup championship in Calgary. He willed Toronto to two consecutive final four appearances in the 1990s, not to mention two more in St. Louis a few years before that. He is seventh all time in Stanley Cup playoffs scoring, 5th in terms of assists. His points per game production actually increased in the playoffs. The only other of the NHL's top 50 all time to also be able to make that claim is Mark Messier.

Full Doug Gilmour biography

June 28, 2011

Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe

Make no mistake: Mark Howe was not Gordie Howe, his legendary father. But Mark too was a great player. And now we can say both are Hall of Fame players.

Gordie Howe was a fearsome physical presence and a goal scoring machine. Mark Howe was one of the steadiest, cleanest and most accomplished players of the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, he did it as one of the rare players to truly master both the forward and defense positions.

Here's the full Mark Howe biography

February 12, 2010

Olympic Snap Shot: Mark Howe

The young man in dark attire is 16 year old Mark Howe. Gordie Howe's oldest son was a 1972 Olympic silver medalist with Team USA in Sapporo, Japan. He is standing beside Billy Harris.

BallHype: hype it up!

July 19, 2009

Brothers: Mark Howe and Marty Howe

They will forever be in the enormous shadow of their father, Gordie Howe, but brothers Mark Howe and Marty Howe were pretty good players in their own right.

In particular Mark Howe was a special player. He had the rare ability to be a dynamic offensive forward or a stalwart defenseman. He probably should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Marty Howe also played up front and back on the blue line, but he was best known as a quiet, defensive rearguard.

Gordie had one other son, Murray. He became a doctor.

Did you know that Gordie Howe did have a brother who also played in the National Hockey League? Vic Howe played 33 games with the New York Rangers.

May 23, 2009

Gordie Howe Recalls Rivalry With Hawks

Earlier this week the Chicago Tribune caught up with goaltending great Glenn Hall for his thoughts on the Wings and Hawks and hockey in general.

Now they have caught up with none other than the legendary Gordie Howe. He had some unique memories of the old Wings and Hawks rivalry.
I really enjoyed playing against my friends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Mr. [James] Norris had ownership in both Chicago and Detroit so it was strange to compete against your own owner, when you think about it.

The Blackhawks, like all the teams back in our era, had many tough players. One that comes to mind is my close friend Bill Gadsby [former Blackhawks captain who played in Chicago from 1946-57 and later coached Howe with the Red Wings from 1968-70]. Of course, Ted Lindsay played there, too, for a few years [1957-60] and was always a force on the ice.
Interestingly Howe, like Hall, does not spend a lot of time watching hockey anymore.
I don't watch much hockey today other than when my son, Mark, comes to town. He is currently the director of pro scouting for the Detroit Red Wings so I go down to Joe Louis Arena with him on occasion. I'm still a Wings fan but just don't watch a whole lot of games anymore. I'm trying to watch as many Wings playoff games as I can though and would love to see the boys go all the way again.
By the way, here's a nice piece on Mark Howe's life as a scout.

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