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NHL Notes: No dementia for Howe

NHL hockey legend, Gordie Howe, center signs autographs for John Viau, left and his son, Migel,...

NHL hockey legend, Gordie Howe, center signs autographs for John Viau, left and his son, Migel, right during the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair at the Ottawa Convention Centre. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:25 PM ET

Gordie Howe is having some memory issues but does not have dementia, his son told the Detroit News Thursday.

Although Howe, 83, does have a "cognative problem" it is not dementia, a form of which took the life of his wife, Colleen, in 2009, Marty Howe said.

"Just to set things straight Gordie does not have dementia," Marty Howe told the News. "He has had a cognitive problem for seven or eight years that causes mostly short-term memory loss. If he had dementia, we would be lucky to have him with us."

Howe's condition is mild and not related to Pick's disease, which killed Colleen Howe, or Alzheimer's, according to another son, Murray, who is a radiologist.

"He has what we call mild cognitive impairment," Murray Howe said on NHL.com. "His brain power is not what it used to be. In terms of the prognosis and diagnosis, it's still wide open."

Howe does suffer from short-term memory loss, has difficulty speaking and gets confused in the evening, which is called "sundowning." But Marty Howe says his father's personality remains the same and he recognizes family and friends.

SHARK TANKED

San Jose Sharks defenceman Jason Demers was put on injured reserve Thursday with a lower-body injury.

Demers went on IR just as winger Ryan Clowe returned to action after missing six games with a facial fracture. Clowe played Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

The Sharks also called up goaltender Tyson Sexsmith from Worcester of the AHL after Antti Niemi was hurt Wednesday in practice and was unable to play against the Stars. Antero Niittymaki, who cleared waivers last week, was sent to Worcester.

HORTON STILL HURTIN'

Injured Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton still hasn't started off-ice workouts.

Horton, out with a concussion suffered last month in Philadelphia, missed his third straight game Thursday. He's still having concussion-related symptoms, including headaches, according to Boston.com.

It's expected that Horton won't be able to play until next week at the earliest. He has 17 goals and 15 assists in 46 games this season.

HODGSON TOP ROOKIE

Vancouver Canucks forward Cody Hodgson was named Thursday as the NHL's rookie of the month for January.

Hodgson, a first-round pick of the Canucks in 2008, had six goals and four assists in 11 games last month, upping his season totals to 14 goals and 16 assists. He was also one of the rookies who participated in the NHL all-star game festivities in Ottawa.

After his big offensive month, Hodgson is second in rookie goal scoring and four in points among first-year players.

CAPS ACTIVE

The Washington Capitals made a pair of trades Thursday but all players involved were minor-leaguers.

First, the Caps traded forward Matt Ford to Philadelphia for defenceman Kevin Marshall, who played 10 games for the Flyers this season.

Then the Caps sent defenceman Danny Richmond to the Colorado Avalanche for forward Mike Carman. Richmond has played 49 games in the NHL with Carolina and Chicago while Carman played in three world junior tournaments for the U.S.

Marshall and Carman will report to Hershey of the AHL.

BRIEFLY

The New York Rangers sent forward Wojtek Wolski and defenceman Jeff Woywitka were sent to Connecticut of the AHL on a two-week conditioning stint. Both have been injured at various times this season and haven't been playing regularly ... Injured Washington Capitals defenceman Mike Green is getting close to playing again. He skated in full equipment for the first time since having sports hernia surgery ... The Columbus Blue Jackets activated centre Jeff Carter off injured reserve and put defenceman Nikita Nikitin on IR. Carter missed 10 games with a shoulder injury while Nikitin hurt his knee Jan. 21 in Detroit and is listed as week-to-week.


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