During the celebration of Johnny Bower’s life yesterday, I kept thinking about his friendship with Gordie Howe.
The iconic picture of the two Saskatchewan products standing with their arms around one another at ice level, after Toronto beat Detroit in the 1963 Stanley Cup final, keeps entering my mind.
Hockey paled in comparison to their bond of friendship.
One after another, those who paid tribute to Bower at the Air Canada Centre yesterday talked about his smile. It was once said about Howe that he could disarm any situation with his smile.
Howe loved to fish, visit and show his sense of humour. Bower proved that he could be a showman.
In 1965, Bower joked the Beatles had better look out when he released a fun Christmas song, Honky the Christmas Goose. They both had a love of life.
Hockey was what they did, not who they were. Millions of fans, especially those who met them in person, are thankful for that.