Gordie Howe’s birthday celebrated in Vancouver

Gordie Howe proved he can still draw a crowd.

Former NHL stars and hockey fans paid tribute to Howe on Friday
night during a celebration of his upcoming 85th birthday.

Mr. Hockey was feted before a Western Hockey League game between
the Vancouver Giants, of which he is a minority owner, and the
Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The former NHL players included Bobby Hull and his brother
Dennis, Marcel Dionne, Orland Kurtenbach, Charlie Hodge and Johnny
Bower, who is also in his mid-80s.

They participated in a brief pregame ceremony during which
Howe’s birthday cake, bearing his famous No. 9 on the back of a
gold truck, rolled onto the ice.

Pop star Michael Buble, also a Giants minority owner, got in on
the party by leading the crowd in singing ”Happy Birthday” to
Howe, who will turn 85 on March 31.

Howe sang along before he capped the festivities by dropping the
puck during the ceremonial faceoff.

Howe and the former stars posed for pictures with hundreds of
fans during the first intermission.