DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Mark Howe, son of legendary hockey player Gordie Howe, said there’s no way to prepare for the Hockey Hall of Fame phone call.

“The emotions start with the initial phone call, I mean it’s just out of the blue, in the middle of the day … and my heart just sank to the bottom of my feet … Then the reality just set it… It’s awesome,” he said at 97.1 The Ticket’s SportsFest at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

The son of legendary Gordie Howe, defenseman Mark Howe was also briefly his dad’s teammate on the Wings. So, how did his father react to the news, when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011?

“We have the kind of relationship where nothing needs to be said,” Howe said, adding he knew how proud his father was by the gleam in his eye. He added Gordie Howe has memory problems but “knew what was going on that day.”

They played together on the Wings, but he added he’s most proud of the way his father was off the ice, as an outstanding husband and father.

Overall, Mark Howe played 16 seasons in the NH and played three times in the Stanley Cup finals. How does he feel about the 2013 team? Howe thinks the situation can’t be fully assessed until all the key players return from injuries.

“If there was ever a year we needed a full training camp, this was it,” Howe said. “No matter what the coaches put in place, I’ve always believed, and it’s been proven in the past, the players themselves figure it out … But I think we’re finding our way… You can see some pieces starting to fill in.”

Howe, who is now director of pro scouting for the Red Wings, said he’s hopeful this is a playoff team. “We’re a capable hockey club,” he said.

Also at SportsFest was Nick Lidstrom, who Howe said, “I consider one of the four best defensemen to ever play the game.” Who are the other three? He named Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey and Gordie Howe.


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