Long Live Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey

Here’s a review of Mr. Hockey: My Story by Gordie Howe I wrote a couple of years ago. I spoke to his son, Mark, shortly afterward, only to learn he hadn’t actually read the book yet! I can’t imagine, however, there was anything in the book his son didn’t already know.

Rest in peace, Mr. Howe!

First, this is a must-read for any fan of Gordie Howe, or even fans of hockey. For me, it served as my first real insight into him. I’d say it was worth the wait, though almost everything in this book was something that could’ve been written in the past 30 years.

Considering the length of Gordie Howe’s time in hockey, you’d think we’d be in for countless stories about his life and career. A very easy read, Mr. Hockey: My Story gets straight to the point, setting aside a chapter for each phase of his life, no matter how long it really stretched and how many more interesting things must’ve happened during that time. People who want more stories might need to reach for other books about Howe, though this one is still important since it’s straight from the horse’s mouth. The book also serves as a lesson for how things used to be in hockey, making the current players out to be spoiled and far less tough today, though he doesn’t call out anyone specifically.

Howe himself is very plain-spoken and humble, oftentimes not giving himself enough credit for his accomplishments. While this isn’t necessarily a bad trait to have personally (though it cost him a fortune during his playing days due to lack of negotiating skills), to hear him explain it, he doesn’t come across as the Superman that other people make him out to be. It’s not until the end, when his family gets a say, do they explain things about him that contributed to his longevity and success.

God bless you Mr. Howe. They’ll never be anyone else like you again.