Mark Howe

Philadelphia to retire Mark Howe’s No. 2 tonight


With the Detroit Red Wings in town, Philly couldn’t have picked a better night to celebrate the career of Mark Howe.

Howe, who spent 10 seasons as a Flyer and is often regarded as the best defenseman in franchise history, played his final three years in Detroit and now works for the Wings as the director of pro scouting.

As such, there’ll be plenty of familiar faces at Wells Fargo on Tuesday when his No. 2 gets raised to the rafters, joining the likes of No. 1 (Bernie Parent), No. 4 (Barry Ashbee), No. 7 (Bill Barber) and No. 16 (Bobby Clarke).

“It’s a great honor for Howey, well deserved,” Wings coach Mike Babcock told “He was a great Flyer, had an unbelievable career. He’s worked for us for 19 years, started three years as a player. He’s been involved in two really great organizations to finish his career.

“I think he’s proud of that fact, we’re proud of him. We’re honored and thrilled to be sharing it with him tonight.”

Long regarded as one of the NHL’s most underrated blueliners, Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 — something that kickstarted a newfound appreciation of his game. A tremendous two-day defenseman, Howe made the NHL’s first All-Star team three times and put forth one of the greatest statistical seasons ever in 1985-86, finishing with 82 points in 77 games (24G, 58A) while finishing with an amazing plus-85 rating.

How finished was plus-400 for his career, 12th-best all time.

“I was reading about him in the last week when they were gearing up for this night,” Flyers defenseman Matt Carle said. “Some of the statistics he threw up were mind-blowing. It’s a huge honor for him. It’ll be fun for us to be here for it.”

(Image courtesy

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.