RATHER than quiet, Gordie Howe's retirement has been filled with roars of appreciation.
(1) Howe joined the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League in 1997 to become, at 69, the only man to play professional hockey over six decades.
(2) He received his star on the Canada Walk of Fame, in Toronto, in 2000.
(3) The Wings' legend signed an autograph by the new statue of himself in action, unveiled at Joe Louis Arena in 2007.
(4) A Howe jersey with number17? That was Gordie's rookie sweater, from 1946, presented to him by the Red Wings on his 80th birthday in 2008.
(5) Howe led a group of former Wings bearing the 2007--08 championship banner before the '08--09 home opener.
(6) Mr. Hockey chatted with the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin before a practice at the 2009 All-Star Game.
(7) Some 15 miles from where it all began, in Floral, Howe received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon in 2010.