2016: A Look Back On “Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day”
On June 10th, 2016, the hockey world lost one of the all time greats when Gordie Howe passed away at the age of 88. Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe grew up in Saskatoon and always made time to come home to the Bridge City where it all began for him.
After his passing, Saskatoon Blades President Steve Hogle contacted the Howe family to send condolences on behalf of the the Blades organization, and the city of Saskatoon. During the conversation one of Gordie’s sons had mentioned how his father had always wanted to be returned to Saskatoon along with his late wife, Colleen. That set the wheels in motion for what eventually became Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day.
The Saskatoon Blades along with the City of Saskatoon and SaskTel Centre arranged to have Gordie and Colleen’s ashes interred at the base of the Gordie Howe Statue. A special private ceremony took place on September 26th for over 6o members of the Howe family. Other activities of the day included heading over Saskatoon’s newest bridge named after Mr. Hockey, a visit to Gordie’s childhood school, and a touching pre-game ceremony prior to the Blades 2016 season home opener.