The funeral for hockey legend Gordie Howe is being held at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.
Saskatchewan-born, former NHL player, Kelly Chase is among those in attendance.
Chase, now a broadcaster for the St Louis Blues, was in Saskatoon for a charity golf tournament before deciding he couldn’t miss the funeral.
“I really felt an obligation to be at the funeral,” Chase said Wednesday morning.
“I said to my wife, ‘You know, I never went to a funeral I’ve regretted going to, but I would certainly feel awful if I wasn’t at this thing…I just know how much he meant to hockey.”
According to Chase, the Stanley Cup was Howe’s trophy because “he really exemplified the league and what players are about.”
Chase said Howe kept an eye on him from the moment they met on the flight to Chase’s first training camp with the Hartford Whalers.
The young player remembers being in a number of fights on the ice that day, while following Howe’s advice to be noticed.
After that practice, he was walking to get on to the bus when Howe caught up to him.
“This big old arm come around me at the front of the bus, and he said ‘Hey kid, they freaking know who you are now,’” Chase said.
The funeral for Mr. Hockey is open to the public, as was the 12-hour visitation at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.
A steady stream of fans and well-wishers shuffled slowly down a red carpet towards Howe’s coffin for the chance to say goodbye to the man many consider to be the greatest player ever.
Howe died last Friday at the age of 88.
CKOM News will have special coverage of the funeral throughout the day.