Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe died on Friday at the age of 88.
Two former players who most people were waiting to hear from were Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky. Both men released statements on Friday afternoon.
Yzerman's statement reads:
"It was very saddening to hear the news of Gordie's passing this morning. He has been an icon not only in Detroit, but throughout the entire hockey world for as long as I can remember. As one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL, the majority of his career being in Detroit, it was an honor to wear the same uniform, spend time with, laugh, joke and seek advice from him. Gordie's humility and kindness left a permanent impression on me, greatly influencing how I tried to conduct myself throughout my career.
“His impact on the Red Wings organization is still evident today. I travel the world and constantly hear stories from people who love the Wings and share memories of the glory days when Gordie and his teammates ruled the NHL. For all players fortunate enough to play for the Wings, we should take time to thank and honor Gordie, for he is a significant reason why Detroit is such a special place to play.
“To Gordie's surviving family, I offer my sincere condolences, in particular to his son Mark, my former teammate and colleague, who cannot help but remind me of his father every time I see him."
"Unfortunately we lost the greatest hockey player ever today, but more importantly the nicest man I have ever met.
Janet and I wish to send out thoughts and prayers to the Howe family and the millions of hockey fans who like me loved Gordie Howe. RIP Mr. Hockey"