In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, the NHL opted to move the tribute to Gordie Howe to the beginning of the second period.
Given what we’ve read and heard about Mr. Hockey in the days since his passing, we don’t think he would mind at all. Heck, we doubt he would even expect anyone to pay tribute to this self-described ‘really lucky old farm boy.’
On the scoreboard before the drop of the puck, a brief video played for the crowd in San Jose and the audience at home with former teammates and colleagues speaking about Howe’s legacy.
Players stood and tapped their against the boards and on the ice to show their appreciation of Howe. Fans cheered as they collectively thanked Mr. Hockey for all he contributed to the game.
During intermission, NBC viewers saw an additional tribute with a voiceover by Doc Emrick:
A tribute to Mr. Hockey. https://t.co/3VQb77UlId
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 13, 2016
On the NBC broadcast, the network added a special icon to the score and clock ribbon at the top of the screen for the second period.
During warmups players from both the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins donned helmets with ‘9’ stickers on them. Prior to the arrival of fans, the seats at SAP Center created a ‘9’ in a section of seats.