CSN's Tim Panaccio and Sarah Baicker are hearing that the Flyers will retire Mark Howe's number before a Flyers-Red Wings game on Tuesday, March 6th. Howe, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last week (see his honoring of father Gordie here), finished his career with the Red Wings and currently works as their Director of Pro Scouting.
The Hall of Fame induction news brought with it a resurgence in the calls to see Howe's 2 raised to the rafters in Philadelphia, and the Flyers appear ready to oblige.
Howe will join an exclusive club, with only four other numbers having been retired by the Flyers—Bernie Parent (1), Barry Ashbee (4), Bill Barber (7), and Bobby Clarke (16).
It's a little odd when teams allow a number to be worn for years before retiring it, while others put a grace period in place, making a number unavailable for some time before finally allowing it back into use or finally retiring it for good. For many of us, '2' will always be Howe's number in Philadelphia, but we have seen quite a few nameplates above that digit since Howe left, including Lukas Krajicek as recently as the 2009-2010 season. Some of us wondered whether this would prevent Howe from joining the pantheon.
Fans have been begging for this for years, and we couldn't be happier to see one of our first favorite Flyers join the guys we've only read about and seen grainy footage of. Howe is the best defenseman to ever play for the Flyers, spending 10 great seasons in Orange & Black. When we ranked our field of 64 for the top Philly athletes of the past 30 years, Howe was our 1-seed for the Flyers.
Here's what Rev had to say then:
While it's not official yet, it might be a good idea to look into those March 6th tickets if you want to see the rare sight of a number being raised to the rafters in Philadelphia.