Gordie Howe, Saskatchewan’s most well-known hockey icon, at all times stated information have been meant to be damaged, based on his son, Murray Howe.
And if Gordie have been alive at the moment, Murray stated, he’d be excited to see one other Saskatchewan native, Patrick Marleau, break his longtime document for many NHL video games performed — anticipated to occur Monday night time in Las Vegas, barring something unexpected.
“I feel he’d be very thrilled and the primary out on the ice to applaud Patrick on this actually unimaginable milestone,” Murray stated.
Gordie Howe, who had the nickname Mr. Hockey, set the document of 1,767 NHL video games performed earlier than he retired in 1980 at age 52. Howe died in 2016 when he was 88.
Marleau tied the document Saturday night time in Minnesota.
Murray stated he is additionally pleased to see his dad’s document can be damaged by Marleau, somebody lauded for a similar dedication, ardour and humility as Gordie Howe, who “by no means put himself up on a pedestal.”
“[Marleau] is a category act,” he stated. “Simply in the identical manner that Gretzky broke Dad’s scoring information, it was nice to see it completed by somebody who was humble and devoted to the sport and grateful for the issues that he had.”
As Monday approaches, Marleau’s household can be cheering him on, from the Saskatchewan farm the place he first fell in love with the sport.
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Taking pictures pucks by the barn
Marleau grew up on his mum or dad’s farm close to Aneroid, Sask., 250 kilometres southwest of Regina.
His mom, Jeanette, a retired trainer, remembers how her two sons, Richard and Patrick, would play mini-stick hockey within the kitchen on her linoleum ground.
“If I might wax [the floor], they’d use their socks and they’d polish it on the identical time. They’d be taking part in hockey and [polishing],” she stated.
Richard took masking tape and spelled out “NHL” on the again of their jerseys.
“There have been loads of battles on the kitchen ground. It appeared like we might simply get wound up on a Saturday night time when Hockey Night time in Canada would begin taking part in … after which Mother would say ‘Oh no, it is time for mattress’ simply when issues acquired actually good,” he stated, with a chuckle.
However Marleau’s singular give attention to honing his abilities started to set him aside from different younger gamers.
His father, Denis, who nonetheless farms at age 74, remembers how Patrick would haul an ice cream container stuffed with pucks out to the barn and follow his shot off a sheet of plywood.
“You’d at all times knew the place he was on the farm. You might hear this bang, bang — the pucks hitting the boards,” stated Denis. “We did not have to inform him to do something about hockey. He simply beloved it.”
At Christmas one yr, Marleau’s dad and mom gave him an educational video by Mario Lemieux, his favorite participant, on VHS and he performed it again and again.
“I am certain he wore that tape out. He watched it for hours,” stated Denis.
Exhausting work and a little bit of luck
Marleau was chosen by San Jose within the 1997 NHL Draft.
The crew’s veteran goaltender Kelly Hrudey stated he noticed one thing particular within the younger rookie and so he, alongside together with his spouse Donna and three daughters, invited Marleau to stay of their guesthouse. Hrudey stated he might inform that Marleau was raised by his dad and mom to be type, and he hasn’t modified at the moment.
“Very, very humble. For all that he is completed, and issues he is achieved in his profession and all the cash he is made, to me he hasn’t modified,” stated Hrudey.
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The NHL analyst for Sportsnet credit Marleau’s lengthy profession to his distinctive mixture of ability, smarts, and fervour, in addition to Marleau’s intense off-ice coaching and a little bit of luck which have helped him escape damage.
“He is had a physique that simply refuses to interrupt down and that is what’s very, very uncommon,” stated Hrudey.
On Thursday, Marleau spoke to reporters in a digital press convention.
“I simply love being on the market and taking part in. Clearly each child’s dream is to hoist that Stanley Cup, so I have been chasing all of it this time,” stated Marleau. He has but to win a NHL championship.
Marleau, who did not point out retirement, stated he hopes he’ll be remembered as a participant who beloved the sport, his crew, and profitable.
“Ya know, I gave it my all,” he stated.
Murray Howe, a doctor who now lives in Toledo, Ohio, stated his dad Gordie had the identical perspective and was by no means pushed or distracted by his statistics or information.
“It’s extra about doing what he loves and feeling lucky that he might do it so long as he might and do it on the degree that he did,” he stated.
“When Dad lastly hung up the blades, he knew he left all the things out on the ice and I feel he is equally happy with anybody who does the identical factor out on the ice, together with Gretzky and Patrick [Marleau].”