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Gordie Howe, known as ‘Mr. Hockey,’ dies at 88

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Hockey legend Gordie Howe watches practice for the NHL All-Star game in Dallas

Gordie Howe, known as “Mr. Hockey” for a tough but skillful playing style that shattered records over a career spanning five decades, died on Friday at the age of 88, the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings said.

The cause of death was not disclosed. Howe suffered two strokes in October 2014 and also from advanced dementia in recent years.

“Today is a sad day for the Detroit Red Wings and the entire hockey world as together we mourn the loss of one of the greatest hockey players of all time,” Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement.

 “My condolences to the family of Gordie Howe, the Detroit Red Wings and all his fans around the world. He will always be Mr. Hockey,” tweeted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Howe, a Canadian who spent his prime playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL), was considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He may have been eclipsed only by fellow countryman Wayne Gretzky in terms of goals and points, but not in grit and longevity.

Howe attributed his long career, 33 seasons, in such a rough sport to passion.

“You’ve got to love what you’re doing,” he once said. “If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains and continue to play for a long, long time.”

Howe joined the National Hockey League’s Red Wings in 1946 and led them to four Stanley Cup championships before retiring in 1971 after 25 seasons with the team.

Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 but by the next year he was on the ice again.

He joined the Houston Aeros of the upstart World Hockey Association (WHA), alongside sons Mark and Marty, and taking the team to two consecutive championships. He would say that playing with his sons was the highlight of his career.

All three Howes joined the WHA’s New England Whalers in 1977 and when the league folded two years later, the Whalers joined the NHL, giving Howe one more season in hockey’s top league.

When he retired for a second time in 1980, Howe was the NHL’s regular season leader in career goals and points, both records later broken by Gretzky.

Howe, the only player to play in the NHL after turning 50, would play all 80 games in his final season as well as a handful of games after turning 52.

Gordon Howe was born in the small farming town of Floral, Saskatchewan, and put on a pair of ice skates when he was 4 years old. He played in an organized league before he was 10 and had a tryout with the NHL’s New York Rangers at 15 but failed to impress.

A year later, a Red Wings scout discovered Howe and two years after that, in October 1946, he scored a goal in his NHL debut in what proved to be the start of one of the game’s most prolific careers.

Howe went on to become a 23-time All-Star, won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player six times and led the league in scoring six times.

He was part of hockey’s most fabled scoring units, the so-called “Production Line” in reference to Detroit’s auto industry, alongside Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay.

Howe finished in the top five in NHL scoring for 20 consecutive seasons and still holds the record for most consecutive 20-goal seasons at 22.

The term “Gordie Howe hat trick,” consisting of a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game, was coined in reference to the powerful right wing’s reputation for never backing away from a scuffle.

Howe played a remarkable 2,421 games, including playoffs, over his professional career. He is second on the NHL’s all-time goals list with 801, behind Gretzky with 894, and fourth on the points list with 1,850.

At the age of 69, Howe returned to the game in 1997 with the International Hockey League’s Detroit Vipers, playing just one shift for less than a minute.

Howe was married to Colleen Joffa Howe for 55 years until her death in 2009. She managed the business affairs of Howe and their sons Mark and Marty. The Howes also had a son Murray and daughter Cathy.

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Waqar Younis asks Afridi & Gambhir to ”calm down..behave smartly

Waqar Younis is the second cricketing legend who spoke to fans on the official twitter platform @GloFansOfficial after David Gower.

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Waqar Younis

New Delhi, June 1 : Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis, in a freewheeling chat with GloFans, spoke about the ongoing social media battle between former India opener Gautam Gambhir and Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi and asked them to calm down.

When asked by cricket fans in a unique Q&A based chat show ”Q20” on GloFans” twitter handle, Waqa said he has been observing the sharp reactions on social media, which have been deplorable and distasteful.

“The banter between Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi has been going on for a while now. I think they both got to be smart, sensible and calm down. It has been going on for way too long. My advice to them is to maybe catch up somewhere around the world and talk it out if you cannot really calm it down,” Waqar said.

“In social media, if you carry on (like) that, people are going to love it and people are enjoying it and that I feel that they both should be sensible and smart.”

The last time both the countries played a bilateral cricket series was back in 2012-13. Responding to another GloFans” question on bilateral ties, Waqar said: “If you go and ask people of both the countries on whether Pakistan and India should play each other, everyone, around 95% of them will agree, that cricket between these two should be played.

“Be it “Imran-Kapil Series” or “Independence Series” or whatever name we give to it, I think that it would be the biggest hit of the world. I think Pakistan and India should play, and should play on a regular basis to avoid depriving cricket lovers of India and Pakistan,” he said.

“I do see Pakistan and India playing bilateral series. I am not sure where though, but I hope it will be either in Pakistan or in India. You don”t want to see them playing in some other country because that”s where you want to see them. You want to see them playing in their own countries. But I definitely say that in the next few years, I would say, Pakistan India will be playing.”

Waqar Younis is the second cricketing legend who spoke to fans on the official twitter platform @GloFansOfficial after David Gower.

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Two HI employees diagnosed with COVID-19, office to remain shut

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Hockey India’s office will remain shut for two weeks after two of its staff tested positive for the coronavirus. 29 out of 31 employees were tested and apart from the two that tested positive, two more tested inconclusive and will be tested again.

“The two inconclusive are being retested again on Sunday (May) 31st at 11am,” International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra said in a statement.

While one of the employees is from the accounts department, the other is a junior field officer, Batra further informed. Amongst the two inconclusive tests, one is a joint director and the other is a dispatch clerk.

“All 25 found negative have gone into home quarantine for 14 days to work from home,” said Batra. “The two found positive are also in strict home quarantine under medical monitoring. The two inconclusive are also in home quarantine under medical monitoring.”

Batra said that Hockey India President Mushtaq Ahmad informed him of the offices remaining shut for 14 days.

Batra further urged all National Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations to get their employees tested for the deadly virus “without any further delay.”

“This will help in giving confidence to us and all our stakeholders including our athletes,” he said.

More than 1.7 lakh confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported so far in India while close to 5000 people have lost their lives.

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Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes top 100 highest-paid athletes

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Virat Kohli

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, remained the only Indian and sole cricketer to feature in the top 100 of highest-paid athletes of 2020 put forward by Forbes magazine.

With an estimated total earning of $26 million ($24m from endorsements and $2m from salary/winnings), Kohli has made a jump of more than 30 places from 2019 and is at the 66th spot in the list. In 2019 too, the ace batsman was the only Indian to feature in top 100 (at 100th place) with estimated earnings of $25 million.

Meanwhile, Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer became the first from the sport to top Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes. With an estimated $106.3 million earned over the past 12 months, the Swiss maestro edged out Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo from the top spot.

The three athletes immediately below Federer are all football players with Ronaldo on second with estimated earnings of $105 million. Ronaldo’s arch rival Lionel Messi is third with an estimated $104 million while Brazil’s Neymar comes fourth with $95.5 million.

NBA stars came next in the list with Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James earning $88.2 million, Golden State Warriors all-star Stephen Curry with $74.4 million, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant with an estimated $63.9 million.

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is the highest paid female athlete with $37.4 million. She however comes only 29th in the overall rankings. US tennis great Serena Williams comes 33rd with $36 million.

The factors that went into Forbes’ calculation were athletes’ revenue, including prize money, salaries, contract bonuses, endorsements, royalties, and appearance fees from June 1, 2019, until June 1, 2020.

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