TORONTO -- I caught up with Mark Howe for a one-on-one after he received his Hall of Fame jacket at the Legends Classic on Sunday. Here is what he had to say about being Gordie Howe's son, the moment he realized he will be in the Hall of Fame, nerves going into Monday's induction speech and how he goes about his normal life after such an emotional, whirlwind weekend:
Q: You're getting a lot of questions about your father and what it means to have your father here with you, but you talked at the Fan Forum about the moment in Philadelphia when you became Mark Howe, not just Gordie's son. Does it feel that way again here, that this is your induction?
"I know it's my induction but part of being the son of Gordie Howe is accepting that fact. And, it's a fact that I figure I'm the luckiest person on the face of the earth to have Gordie Howe as my father. What I hope for this weekend is that maybe I get the attention just because my dad wants me to get the attention when historically it has always gone to him. My wishes are that the people come here and pay me the respect and put him secondary. I would never consider it that way, but it would make him feel better."
Q: We always hear guys talk about how it's an unbelievable feeling, but at some moment it sets in that you're going into the Hall of Fame. What was that moment for you?
"It started yesterday. When I walked out onto that ice yesterday and I was the first individual out there, I had a moment to reflect, and I'm saying, 'Wow, this is starting to really mean so so much.' It's making me really look forward to Monday and being able to thank so many people that have been so important in my life. It's going to hit home because everybody around him, my friends and family, say you don't know what honor you've received yet. Yeah, I'm waiting and it's coming. Today was a better feeling than yesterday, so I know how special tomorrow is going to be."
Q: The speech is also a nerve-wracking experience for some that go into the Hall of Fame. Are you nervous?
"No. Historically I always get a little nervous, a little pumped up. I wrote my speech on a flight going down to Tampa to go scout a game, and it came from my heart. Historically whenever I speak I just speak from my heart and I don't read, but I'm going to be reading (Monday night) because I want to try to get the words correct and get the people in there. I'm sure I'll be a little bit nervous. The hardest part is it brings up so many emotions. How do you put 56 years of life into five minutes. They're awesome emotions, but I just want to be able to keep my emotions under control."
Q: You go back to being a scout after you leave the Hall of Fame. Is it going to be hard to go back into your regular day to day routine?
"No, it's easy because I'm in hockey rinks and I'm around hockey people all the time. It's been my life and it's something I love, something I have a great passion for. Not often do I sit back and reflect on my past a lot, my history, but I'm going to reflect on this day. I'm sure a lot of the people I run into in the scouting world, they're all going to come up to me and pay their respects. I'm going to be reminded of it quite often I'm sure."
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