Gordie Howe was honored by his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday to celebrate "Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day."
Howe, who died June 10 at the age of 88, had his ashes interred with his wife Colleen's inside a statue of him during a private ceremony outside SaskTel Centre. More than 50 members of the Howe family attended the ceremony, and the city declared the statue's surrounding area a cemetery.
During the warm-up before their Western Hockey League game against Swift Current, members of the Saskatoon Blades donned white Detroit Red Wings jerseys with Howe's name and iconic No. 9 on the back. Howe's son, Murray, former NHL great Bryan Trottier and longtime commentator Bob Cole were among those who spoke during an event at the arena before the game.
"When you help someone to fulfill their dreams like the town of Saskatoon did for Gordie Howe, you create legends," Murray Howe said. "The Howe family is humbled by the love that we have seen [and] experienced and my mom and dad have experienced from Saskatoon all these years."
Howe, who played the most games in NHL history (1,767) and scored the second-most goals in League history (801), grew up in Saskatoon before leaving to pursue his hockey career.