Mar 6, 2012, 2:04 PM EST
With the Detroit Red Wings in town, Philly couldn’t have picked a better night to celebrate the career of Mark Howe.
Howe, who spent 10 seasons as a Flyer and is often regarded as the best defenseman in franchise history, played his final three years in Detroit and now works for the Wings as the director of pro scouting.
As such, there’ll be plenty of familiar faces at Wells Fargo on Tuesday when his No. 2 gets raised to the rafters, joining the likes of No. 1 (Bernie Parent), No. 4 (Barry Ashbee), No. 7 (Bill Barber) and No. 16 (Bobby Clarke).
“It’s a great honor for Howey, well deserved,” Wings coach Mike Babcock told NHL.com. “He was a great Flyer, had an unbelievable career. He’s worked for us for 19 years, started three years as a player. He’s been involved in two really great organizations to finish his career.
“I think he’s proud of that fact, we’re proud of him. We’re honored and thrilled to be sharing it with him tonight.”
Long regarded as one of the NHL’s most underrated blueliners, Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 — something that kickstarted a newfound appreciation of his game. A tremendous two-day defenseman, Howe made the NHL’s first All-Star team three times and put forth one of the greatest statistical seasons ever in 1985-86, finishing with 82 points in 77 games (24G, 58A) while finishing with an amazing plus-85 rating.
How finished was plus-400 for his career, 12th-best all time.
“I was reading about him in the last week when they were gearing up for this night,” Flyers defenseman Matt Carle said. “Some of the statistics he threw up were mind-blowing. It’s a huge honor for him. It’ll be fun for us to be here for it.”
(Image courtesy Flyers.nhl.com)
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