Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Number 9

This week, a new hockey book hits the stores and it is written by one of the greatest hockey players ever to play the game. "Mr. Hockey: My Story" by Gordie Howe was released yesterday.

In advance of the release, Wayne Gretzky conducted an email interview with Howe. When he was a young boy, Gretzky idolized Howe. In junior hockey, Gretzky attempted to obtain the number 9 sweater (Howe's number with the Detroit Red Wings), but he wasn't successful.

Howe commented on the number 9 in his piece with Gretzky. "It's a pretty classic number, and a lot of great players have worn it, but what it meant to me was that I got a better night's sleep," Howe said when answering the question of what the number meant to him. "Many people may not know that my first number with the Red Wings was No. 17 until early into my first season. The No. 9 became available and it was offered to me. We travelled by train back then, and guys with higher numbers got the top bunk on the sleeper car. No. 9 meant I got a lower berth on the train, which was much nicer than crawling into the top bunk."

The interview was published by Canadian Press and appeared in the October 11, 2014, issue of the Toronto Star.  According to CP, it is the only interview Howe will participate in for the promotion of the book. The main reason for Howe's limited availability is health related.

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