FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Nobody asked me, but ...
... Mark Howe’s No. 2 should be hanging from the Wells Fargo Center rafters.
Howe, who spent 10 years as an elite Flyers defenseman, will finally go into hockey’s Hall of Fame Monday in Toronto.
The honor is late — Howe retired after the 1994-95 season — but well-deserved.
One school of thought says a player should have helped a team win a Stanley Cup championship to have his number retired. (All four of the Flyers' retired numbers were worn by players who were on Cup champions.)
I couldn’t disagree more.
Howe was the most prolific scoring defenseman in franchise history, holding the records for career goals (138), assists (342), and points (480). He ranks 14th on the Flyers' all-time list in scoring, eighth in assists, and fourth in shorthanded goals (24).
In the 1985-86 season, Howe scored 24 goals and totaled 82 points, establishing still-standing franchise records for goals and points by a defenseman in a season. He also posted a plus-85 rating that season, which was the best in the NHL that year and is a Flyers franchise record — and the eighth-best single-season performance in NHL history
Howe’s body of work, and his induction into the Hall of Fame, should be enough to put his number up in the arena rafters, alongside numbers 1 (Bernie Parent), 4 (Barry Ashbee), 7 (Bill Barber), and 16 (Bobby Clarke).
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter@BroadStBull.
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