Below is Mark Howe's speech transcript from Tuesday night's jersey retirement ceremony at the Wells Fargo Center: (courtesy of the Flyers)
"I stand before you today a proud yet humbled man. I am being honored tonight in the presence of the two teams that have been a part of my life for the past 30 years. In Detroit, I had the opportunity to play with the great Nick Lidstrom. I got to wear the uniform that my father proudly wore for 25 years. And I have had the opportunity to work for Mike and Marion Ilitch. Their passion for hockey and their compassion for those who have worn a Red Wing uniform is second to none.
I am, however, being honored here today for my playing days wearing the #2 as a Philadelphia Flyer. As I reflect upon those days, the passion for hockey and compassion for those who wore the Flyers uniform were equally displayed by Mr. Ed Snider. It was truly the “Flyers Family.” As I said at my Hockey Hall of Fame induction speech in November, when I first came to Philadelphia back in 1982, it was as if I was born to be a Flyer. The orange and black began to flow through my veins and instantly consumed my heart. The memories of playing for the Flyers will be a part of me forever.
I had the opportunity to play with and learn from Bill Barber and Bobby Clarke. They passed on to me the expectations that came with wearing a Flyers uniform. Throughout my 10 years, I had the privilege of playing alongside so many gifted players and an incredible staff. Pat Croce, Ed Van Impe, Cagey, Mike, Sudsy & Kurt, the medical staff, Gene Hart, Poulin, Propp and Kerr, Hexy, Pelle, Brownie, Chief, Homer, Illka, Tock, Ronnie & Rich, Cocker, Kjell, Brad Marsh, Cross and my dear partner the Beast. These people and many others contributed so much to this tremendous individual honor of having my #2 jersey hung in the rafters alongside Bernie Parent, Barry Ashbee, Bill Barber, & Bobby Clarke. Our teams from the mid 80’s will always have a special bond because of the work ethic and commitment we made to each other.
I am blessed to have my family by my side to share in this joyous event: Dad, Marty & Mary, Murray, Sharon, Travis and Kristine; Azia, Josh and Ella; and Nolan. And I know my mother is looking after me from above. I am incredibly lucky to be able to call you all family. I love you all.