Hockey world mourns the passing of Gordie Howe

Tributes to Gordie Howe poured in after the legend's death at age 88.
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The hockey world is in mourning after learning of the passing of Gordie Howe on Friday morning at the age of 88.

And now the tributes are pouring in from all corners.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called Howe a remarkable athlete whose nickname, Mr. Hockey, said it all.

“Gordie’s commitment to winning was matched only by his commitment to his teammates, to his friends, to the Red Wings, to the city of Detroit and – above all – to his family," Bettman said. "His devotion to Colleen through her illness and the fact that he extended his playing days into a fifth decade so he could play with his sons are only two examples of that true priority in his life.

“Gordie’s greatness travels far beyond mere statistics; it echoes in the words of veneration spoken by countless players who joined him in the Hockey Hall of Fame and considered him their hero.

“Gordie’s toughness as a competitor on the ice was equaled only by his humor and humility away from it. No sport could have hoped for a greater, more-beloved ambassador.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he was saddened to learn of Howe's passing.

"I never had opportunity to know Gordie, but the impact he's had on the hockey community goes without saying. He was a great ambassador for our game, and a great role model for all players."

Tampa Bay Lightning  GM, and former Red Wings captain, Steve Yzerman, said he was honored to wear the same uniform as Howe. 

"Gordie's humility and kindness left a permanent impression on me, greatly influencing how I tried to conduct myself throughout my career," he said. “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."

As news of Howe's passing spread, players, fans and world leaders took to social media to pay their respects to the man forever known as Mr. Hockey. Here are some selected thoughts: