Hockey Legend Gordie Howe passed away early Friday. Born in Floral, Saskatchewan, Howe was in skates by the time he was 4 years old, and was playing in an organized hockey league before he was 10. Howe joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1946. He played there for 25 seasons, many on the “Production Line”, with team mates Ted Lindsay & Sid Abel. As a Red Wing, Howe led the league in scoring six times, and was a Hart Trophy winner as the the League’s MVP six times. He finished in the Top 5 in scoring for 20 consecutive seasons, and still holds the record for having 22 seasons in a row with at least 20 goals.
Howe even had his own hat trick: The “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” consisted of a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
Howe retired from the Red Wings in 1971, was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, and was back on the ice with the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association in 1973. With the Aeros, Howe was able to play alongside his sons, Mark & Marty. All three of the Howes went on to the New England Whalers in 1977. Then the WHA folded in 1979 and the Whalers went on to join the NHL, putting Gordie Howe back in the NHL when he was in his fifties.
Over his career, Howe was a 23 time All Star.
One of the NHL’s most prolific scorers, Howe was also know as “Mr. Elbows”, for being one of the toughest men to ever step out onto the ice. Off the ice, Howe had the reputation of being one the nicest guys one could meet, and was hockey’s greatest ambassador.
Howe played 2421 games including playoffs over his pro career; He is second on the NHL list of career goals at 801 (behind Gretzky’s 894); He is fourth the total points list at 1850. Howe is still the only man to play in the NHL after he was 50.
The Detroit Red Wings, to this day, still have lockers at Joe Louis Arena for Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay.
Mr. Hockey was 88. Rest in Peace, Mr. Howe.