Barenaked Ladies Remember Hockey Legend Gordie Howe at Detroit Concert

Courtesy of Vanguard Records
Barenaked Ladies

The good Canadians and hockey fans that they are, Barenaked Ladies was not about to let the iconic Gordie Howe's death go unmentioned Friday night (June 10), especially not when they were playing in the city where the man known as Mr. Hockey played for most of his career.

Shortly into their Last Summer on Earth tour stop at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit, BNL's Ed Robertson introduced "7, 8, 9,” from the band’s 2007 children's album Snacktime!, a song that hasn't been a regular feature in its shows. Howe wore No. 9 during his 25 seasons for the Detroit Red Wings, which included four Stanley Cup championships.

Drummer Tyler Stewart, BNL's resident hockey fanatic, told the crowd, "This is a sad day ... but you always have the memories. You always have the Stanley Cups. Thank you Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey, wherever you are."  

Robertson added, "Tonight I'm going for a Gordie Howe hat trick -- a goal, an assist, and a fight."

Stewart paid further tribute to Howe during the encore, sporting a replica jersey as he sang a closing medley of "Allergies," the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "Alcohol."

Howe died Friday at the home of his son Murray in Toledo after years spent battling dementia and other health issues. He was 88. The Saskatchewan native spent 32 seasons in the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association, named to the NHL All-Star Team 23 times and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. Howe's 801 NHL goals and 1,850 points were league records until they were later broken by Wayne Gretzky.