Steve Kostan: The Time Gordie Howe Showed Me How Great He Was Off The Ice

By Steve Kostan
I’m sure many of us have Gordie Howe tales, and here’s mine — Parents this one’s for you.

In Oct. of ’97, Gordie played a couple of shifts for the Detroit Vipers at the Palace, making him the only guy to play through six decades.

Before the game, there was a photo op with Gordie, and the fans lined up.

I was with my 4 year-old-son. Our turn came and I took a knee at Gordie’s left leg with my right arm around my son. My son … who suddenly wanted to just GET AWAY. I tried to steady him a couple times, but I  finally gave up, and said sorry to Gordie.

I was very embarrassed, in front of a LOT of people. My son was standing about 8 feet away when Gordie made eye contact with him. In a very relaxed voice Gordie said, “Hey, come here”, while motioning with his finger. My son reacted with zombie like obedience, hopped up on Gordie’s lap, and got the picture. Everyone started clapping. I thanked Gordie and said to the folks, “The Greatest  on and OFF the ice. Mr. Hockey, Super Grand-Pa!”


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