Giants mourn loss of Mr. Hockey

The legendary Gordie Howe has passed away at the age of 88

The Vancouver Giants are in mourning after the passing of ‘Mr. Hockey.’

Gordie Howe, one of the major junior hockey club’s co-owners, passed away at the age of 88 on Friday morning (June 10).

“It’s a sad day for all of us with the Giants,” said Giants majority owner Ron Toigo.

“We felt honoured and privileged to have Gordie in our lives. We were fortunate to have had him involved with so many of our players who were able to meet him. He had a impact on everyone in our organization.”

Howe, a native of Floral, Saskatchewan, was a founding co-owner of the Giants when the franchise entered the Western Hockey League in 2001.

He played 32 seasons of professional hockey in the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association. A 23-time all-star, he is the lone professional player to compete in six different decades.

In the NHL, he scored 801 goals and 1,850 points in 1,767 games, primarily with the Detroit Red Wings. He had another 68 goals and 160 points in 157 playoff games.

His final NHL season was with the Hartford Whalers in 1979/80.

Altogether — regular season and playoffs — he scored 2,589 career points and was a six-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer and a six-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and was awarded the Order of Canada.

The Giants family also lost another co-owner, Pat Quinn, who passed away in 2014.

“It’s been a difficult period for us, losing both Pat and now Gordie in such a short period of time, and we’ll miss him a lot,” Toigo said.

An Abbotsford middle school — Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle School — held a moment of silence and had their school flag at half mast on Friday.

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