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.