Saskatoon votes to rename arena after Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe poses for a picture in Montreal in 1970. (Denis Brodeur/Getty)

SASKATOON — City council in Saskatoon has agreed to change the name of a recreation centre to the Gordie Howe Kinsmen Arena.

The renaming of the Kinsmen complex has been pushed through in time for Howe’s scheduled visit to the city.

Howe has had a number of strokes in recent months, but is planning to make a public appearance at a celebrity sports dinner next month if he is well enough.

Kyle Reid with the Kinsmen says they originally wanted to name a street after the 87-year-old NHL legend, but a building is even better.

The Kinsmen dinner on Feb. 6 is to feature Howe, Wayne Gretzky and other hockey stars from the past.

The name change is official, but signage won't be ready in time for Howe's visit.

Howe, who was born in Floral, Sask., played twenty-six seasons in the National Hockey League and six seasons in the World Hockey Association. Nicknamed "Mr. Hockey," he is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

He held many of the sport's scoring records until they were broken in the 1990s by Gretzky.