Mike Howe said he is “not 100 percent for sure” retired, “but I’m starting to move on.”
Not in a literal sense. The native of Oakdale, Minnesota isn’t going anywhere for the moment, living in Ontario and enrolling in EMT school to become a firefighter.
“I played out here two years and (my wife and I) are addicted,” he said. “We love it out here.”
The forward was an original member of the Reign who joined the team
after a four-year career at the University of Minnesota. As a senior, he
was the Golden Gophers’ third-leading scorer on a team featuring
current NHLers Blake Wheeler, Kyle Okposo and Ryan Stoa.
With the Reign, he was more of a defensive-minded forward, notching 11
goals and 19 assists over two full seasons.
It’s easy to forget in hindsight that Howe did not actually finish the season on the roster. Prior to the Reign’s season-ending series in Las Vegas, Howe was released to make room for forward Jordan Nolan. Howe is certainly trying to put it behind him.
“It wasn’t something I was expecting, and it wasn’t something I was too thrilled about,” he said. “It’s part of life, part of the game of professional hockey. I wish I could have helped those guys out the last weekend of the season. I’m trying to look past it, and think about all the positive things.”
For Howe, there were plenty.
“All the people I met, everybody that was involved in the program – the fans, the city – everybody I came in contact with couldn’t have been nicer,” he said. “That’s something I’m always going to remember. The program and the community were great for me and my wife.”
Last but not least, a brief Q&A …
Most memorable hockey
Playing in the Frozen Four (NCAA Hockey Tournament) my freshman year in Columbus, Ohio. You’re in the college spotlight. Everybody’s watching. It was a pretty good week. When you got out there for the start of the games, it was just a really unbelievable experience.
player you ever played with?
Probably (Colorado Avalanche forward) Paul Stastny. I played with him in Omaha in juniors.
Best player you ever played against?
Probably (New Jersey Devils forward) Zach Parise. I played with him in the summer for a few years on select teams. But I played against him quite a bit, too.