Known simply as Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League from 1946 until 1971. Twenty-five of those seasons were with one team, the Detroit Red Wings, for whom he wore the number nine on his red and white jersey.
Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame just one year after leaving Detroit, but in 1973 the ambidextrous winger was back on the ice, this time in the fledging World Hockey Association for the Houston Aeros. Howe played four seasons with the Aeros, leading them to championships in two, and he capped his incredible career with three years in a Whalers uniform.
In his last season with the Whalers, 1979-1980, the Hartford-based team was made a part of the NHL. Howe played in all 80 of the team’s regular-season games, and he left the sport at age 52, the oldest player ever to suit up for the NHL.
Most of Howe’s scoring records were broken by Wayne Gretzky, who chose 99 as his Edmonton Oilers number as an homage to Howe. But Howe still holds numerous records relating to his amazing longevity.
Another milestone unlikely to be equaled is his place in history as the only player to be on the same team with two of his sons. Before Howe joined the Aeros in 1973, the team had already drafted his sons Mark (a top prospect) and Marty. Howe played with them in both Houston and Hartford.
Howe’s final appearance on the ice came in the 1997-1998 season as a member of the International Hockey League’s Detroit Vipers. He played one game at age 69, becoming the only player to skate professionally in six separate decades, which in Howe’s case meant the 1940s through the 1990s.
Because Howe got such an early start and lasted so long in the sport, there is a great deal of vintage hockey memorabilia associated with his years as a player. About the only thing you won’t find is a Howe rookie card because no one was printing hockey cards in the mid-to-late 1940s...
A Canadian company called Parkhurst produced the first Howe hockey card—it dates from the 1951-1952 season. Parkhurst was the only game in town until 1954, when Topps got into the hockey act.
Interestingly, a vintage Topps Howe hockey card from 1954, even one in mediocre condition, is more collectible than a higher-grade Parkhurst Howe hockey card from the same year. Also prized is the 1969 O-Pee-Chee card of Howe, which features the smiling veteran next to his nickname.
Other types of vintage Howe hockey collectibles include signed pucks, sticks, and jerseys—some collectors want one jersey from each of the teams Howe played for, but Red Wings jerseys are the most popular.
Paper collectibles, from tickets to programs, are also fan favorites. A pair of tickets from the night Howe broke Maurice “Rocket” Richards’ scoring record is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. As for programs, teams all over the league routinely put Howe’s photo on the covers of game-day programs, since Howe was often the main draw.
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Poll: Who is the greatest center in Detroit Red Wings history?Bay City Times, July 31st
They got one vote apiece. Current Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg didn't fare much better with only two votes. Meanwhile, Yzerman led all forwards with 41 votes – that was six more than Gordie Howe – while Fedorov drew 16 votes and Datsyuk got 15...Read more
BASIC BLACK: I RAN WITH THE BULLS – NO BULLOxbow Herald, July 30th
You don't hear much about Saint Fermin – unless you live in Pamplona, that is. The man who would become Saint Fermin was born in that Spanish city about 17 centuries ago. He became bishop of his home town and embarked on a cross-border tour to ...Read more
NHL hit with another concussion lawsuitNBCSports.com, July 30th
The second was filed in April — one that included former NHLers Dan LaCouture, Dan Keczmer and Mike Peluso, but one that also lost credibility by claiming NHL legend Gordie Howe died in 2009 from a neurodegenerative disease called Pick's disease...Read more
[Bits] Trottier joins Nolan; the 'other' Chad Johnson; Subban on Toronto ...Lighthouse Hockey, July 30th
[Grantland]; Gordie Howe was on "What's My Line?" and the answer was not "You and your sons." [Greatest Hockey Legends]; A great, wide-ranging and sincere interview with P.K. Subban that will probably get him in trouble for something or other...Read more
Polls will begin Tuesday to select the ultimate Detroit Red Wings starting lineupMLive.com, July 28th
Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman, generally considered the two greatest Red Wings forwards ever, both were left completely off some starting lineups readers submitted. • Reed Larson, however, did receive one vote. That's the same number that Hall of ...Read more
Amazing Al Widing is back for more as 'Gordie Howe of Au Sable River Canoe ...Bay City Times, July 25th
He is back in action at the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon in 2014.Scott Mussell | MLive.com. Now, at 89 years old, Al Widing Sr. still has some amazement left in him. "He's a fixture, he's our Gordie Howe," said Au Sable Marathon spokesperson Phil Weiler...Read more
Mark Howe's new book chronicles life as Mr. Hockey's sonThe Detroit News, July 21st
That Mark Howe, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, reached the sixth decade of life and Gordie Howe his ninth while remaining confidantes, friends, colleagues and loving son and father is no small achievement. Among his many attributes, Mark Howe is ...Read more
Flint Olympian Games have drawn fabled guests such as Magic Johnson, Gordie ...The Flint Journal, July 9th
Legendary athletes such as Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Gordie Howe, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, and Gale Sayers have traveled to Flint to speak at the opening ceremonies through the years. Shields returned to help kick off the ceremony last summer after her ...Read more