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On This Day: Gordie Howe gets inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

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Hockey Hall of Fame LogoThe Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1943 and is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s a place where the best of best in the sport of hockey are spotlighted for whomever visits the facility. Players like Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and Grant Fuhr are just a few of the names that you’ll see if you ever have been or are planning on visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame. There is one player in particular that is spotlighted, that played for our very own Detroit Red Wings and deserves to have the Hall of Fame honor arguably more than any other player that ever played the game.

Gordie Howe a.k.a. ‘Mr. Hockey’ was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on this day, back in 1972. Howe played 25 years in Detroit and currently leads the franchise all-time in games played, goals scored and total points produced. He led the league in total points on six different occasions, was the league’s best in goals scored on five different occasions and to this day still holds the record for most All-Star Game appearances with 23 (21 with Detroit). Howe was the recipient of the Hart Trophy (league MVP) six times in his illustrious NHL career and also hoisted the Stanley Cup four times.

Red Wings Retired Banners - Flickr (Ken Lund)

Photo Credit: Ken Lund/Flickr

His #9 was officially retired by the Red Wings on March 12, 1972. It now hangs for all to see in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena and will be shifted over along with six others (Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman, Sid Abel, Terry Sawchuk, Alex Delvecchio Ted Lindsay) to the new Little Caesars Arena once the 2017-2018 season comes around.

On June 10, 2016, tragic news shook the area of Hockeytown and many others around the world. News broke that Howe had passed away at his son, Murray Howe’s home in Ohio early that morning. No cause was immediately given for the passing of ‘Mr. Hockey’, but has since been stated as natural causes. It was a day that tugged on a lot of heartstrings. Gordie was one of those guys that people just gravitated to. If you were any opposing player during his playing days, he wasn’t the kind of guy you wanted to play against. He played the game extremely tough and you knew it if you played against him, but through it all, there wasn’t any question as to how truly nice of a human being he was on the inside.

Howe’s legacy will forever live on in the game of hockey. There will never be another one like him.

Rest in peace, Gordie.

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Born & raised in the mitten. Grew up in Traverse City, but moved down to the Redford, MI area after my Dad tragically passed away in 1999 because that's where he was being buried and we wanted to be down there with him. I'm an avid Detroit sports fan, growing up in the state of Michigan and having such a solid block of teams to root for is something special. Iv'e always liked discussing Detroit sports whether it be about the past, the present or even what the future holds for Michigan sports teams. It's a long time coming as I am very excited to be apart of the DSN team and be able to construct interesting features to be posted for Detroit Sports fans to read/discuss about.

Detroit Red Wings News

DSN’s Interview with Geordie Day, director of “Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story”

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For fans of the Detroit Red Wings who were fortunate enough to be able to see Bob Probert suit up in person, they’ll tell the many stories of his legendary fights and of his reputation as one of the toughest men to have ever skated in the NHL.

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But off the ice, it wasn’t always smooth skating for Probert. Though he was known for the use of his fists, he also became known for battles with inner demons, as well as run-ins with the law; his sudden passing in July of 2010 at the age of 45 stunned the hockey world.

An intimate look at Probert’s life through previously unseen home movies, as well as interviews from legendary hockey figures, is set to be released in select theaters after a film festival run this spring. “Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story” is the latest work of documentarian Geordie Day, whose films have been seen around the world.

Q: What was the inspiration for this project?

So, back in 2016, I directed a documentary on Clint Malarchuk, the goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres who nearly was killed after a skate blade severed his neck in the late 1980s. The film was about his struggles with mental illness. Additionally, my mom writes a lot of hockey biographies, and she had written Bob’s with him. All of the taped interviews for that book, we used in our documentary

While her and Bob were working on the book, they were doing hours of taped interviews about his famous scandals and fights. She’s been sitting on the tapes and recordings for years. I thought it would be cool to have Bob’s story, kind of like the Amy Winehouse documentary and use as much archival film as possible and tell us his story through his career, so that people could empathize with him and through the documentary they could go along with him.

Q: There are plenty of high profile interviews you did for this documentary, including from Steve Yzerman, Joe Kocur, Chris Chelios, and others. Did you find they were eager to take part in this film?

They’re busy guys, so scheduling wasn’t the easiest thing. They made it happen, and I think that’s a testament to (Bob’s wife) Dani Probert and the respect that all the guys have for her. A lot were doing for Bob as well. The interviews I’d credit to the respect that all the players have for Bob and Dani.

Q: Is there any effect that you’re hoping this documentary will have on today’s NHL enforcers?

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We didn’t go into it wanting to make it an advocacy film; I don’t land on either side of the argument and I don’t think the film does either. It’s just a film about Bob and his life and the issues he faced. We all deal with them too, and it’s about his struggles and what is family and friends and teammates struggled the most with. If a current NHL enforcer sees it, there is a correlation between enforcers and drinking/drug use. If guys can watch the documentary and can gain perspective on their own situation, I think that’d be great.

Q: Do you think that Bob’s career would have been different had he not struggled with substance abuse?

Good question and we try to tackle that in the documentary. A lot of people see he had an All-Star season in 1987 and 1988 and he could be a powerhouse out there. If it weren’t for drugs and alcohol and if it weren’t getting caught at the border with cocaine, who knows what would happen? He could have been an All-Star for years to come. Others say his meanness and toughness had something to do with the fact that he was drinking and doing drugs. You never know. I’d be more inclined to think without it, he’d probably have had an even better carer than he did. But it’s impossible to say.

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Q: What else can people expect to see in this project?

I think Bob has this larger than life persona, and part of being probably the best enforcer ever – or at least the most dominant. All the scandals he was involved in and always on the front page and media for his addiction issues. I think we tried to juxtapose that with the Bob seen in home video footage and his own perspective, so you can realize this wasn’t a badass rock star hockey player who didn’t care about anyone. He cared a lot of people and they loved him, and just like everyone else he struggled with demons, so hopefully people can see it and see the best of Bob.

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SHOCKER! Steve Yzerman’s Lightning swept in Round 1 by Columbus

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Wow!

In perhaps the most shocking playoff result in recent memory, the 62-win Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

http://gty.im/874354282

Of course, headlines were made before this season began when Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announced he’d be stepping down from that role in the final year of his contract and serve as an advisor. Speculation immediately ran rampant that it was a hint that he’d be returning home to the Detroit Red Wings.

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Carolina Hurricanes claim ‘Hockey Town,’ Detroit Red Wings respond

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On Monday night, as the Carolina Hurricanes were in the midst of a 5-0 playoff win over the Washington Capitals, whoever runs the Hurricanes Twitter account did something very dumb.

Check it out.

Well, as soon as the tweet went out, a plethora of responses followed not only ripping the Hurricanes for claiming ‘Hockey Town’ after being in existence for just over 20 years but reminding them that there is only one city that can claim that title.

Detroit, Michigan.

Even the Detroit Red Wings Twitter responded to the Hurricanes tweet.

Oh, by the way, Carolina…

It’s ‘Hockeytown,’ not ‘Hockey Town!’

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