The Hockey Hall of Fame announced today that former Flyers defenseman Mark Howe has been selected as a member of the Class of 2011. Howe will be formally inducted along with Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk during ceremonies in Toronto on November 14.
"Mark Howe is the first Flyers defenseman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and rightfully so," said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman and Flyers founder Ed Snider. "When he played for the Flyers, he was the ultimate leader both on and off the ice. He is one helluva guy and one of the classiest men I've ever been around. I'm particularly proud of Mark on his outstanding career and his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. This is a tremendous honor for Mark and I'd like to congratulate him on this milestone in his career."
“Mark Howe was one of the greatest defensemen of his era,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “His skill and grace, as well as his leadership ability, both on and off the ice, put him in a class by himself. The Flyers are proud to see one of our former players be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.”
Howe played 10 seasons for the Flyers, appearing in 594 games from 1982-1992. He is the most prolific scorer among blueliners in Flyers history, holding the franchise record for career goals (138), assists (342) and points (480) by a defenseman. He ranks 14th overall on the Flyers All-Time List in scoring, eighth overall in assists, and fourth overall in shorthanded goals (24).
During the 1985-86 season, Howe scored 24 goals and added 58 assists for 82 points, establishing franchise records for goals and points by a defenseman in a single season that still stand today. He also posted a plus-minus rating of plus-85 that season, which was the best in the NHL that year, is a Flyers franchise record and is the 8th-best single season performance in NHL history.
Howe was a four-time NHL All-Star, appearing in three of those games as a Flyer (1983, 1986 & 1988), and was also named to represent the Flyers and NHL at Rendez-vous '87, a two-game series against the Soviet Union which replaced the NHL All-Star Game in 1987, although he missed the event due to injury. He was a three-time finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman (1983, 1986, 1987) and was also named a first-team NHL postseason all-star in those same three seasons.
Within the Flyers organization, Howe’s accomplishments include helping lead the team to two appearances in the Stanley Cup Final (1985 & 1987). He won four Barry Ashbee trophies as the team’s best defenseman (1983, 1986-88) and the Bobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP in 1983. He was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame on March 15, 2001.