Howe to help Knights launch season

The Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights announced today that Gordie Howe will be the guest of honor at the team’s season ticket holder pick-up party on Monday, October 3, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

The appearance by Howe comes on the 60th anniversary of his first professional season, when he skated for the United States Hockey League’s Omaha Knights in 1945-46.

“It’s a tremendous honor for us to welcome Mr. Hockey back to Omaha,” said Doug Soetaert, president of the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. “He is one of the greatest players in the history of hockey, and we’re looking forward to having him back in the city where his pro career began.”

Howe will be available to meet and greet season-ticket holders and corporate partners at the Civic Auditorium, and will then be available to the general public. Ak-Sar-Ben Knights players also will be available to meet fans and sign autographs.

Fans will be invited to stay and watch Monday Night Football on two large screen televisions placed in the lobby of the Civic Auditorium during the event, and the Civic box office will be open for those fans wishing to purchase individual game tickets for the 2005-06 season.

Howe began his pro career with the Knights at 17 years old. That year, he played in 51 games, scoring 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points. He would go on to play 1,760 career NHL games, scoring 801 goals and 1,850 points. He won four Stanley Cups, won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer six times and won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player six times.

The Ak-Sar-Ben Knights begin their inaugural season in the AHL on Oct. 7 when they host the defending Western Conference champions, the Chicago Wolves.