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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Recent News: Gordie Howe Memorabilia
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Gordie Howe's Son Says Dad's Recovery No Fluke, Excited For Future Of Stem ...CBS Local, February 23rd
Hockey great Gordie Howe during the McDonalds/NHL All-Star open practice as part of the 2009 NHL All-Star weekend on January 24, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) ...Read more
Miracle for Mr. Hockey? Family defends stem cell choiceDetroit Free Press, February 17th
Look, he gets it — the skepticism over what seems to be his father's medical miracle, says Gordie Howe's youngest son. But Dr. Murray Howe, head of radiology at ProMedica Toledo Hospital, also says he knows what he saw: The once-powerful Mr. Hockey ...Read more
Mark Howe: Gordie's will to live has returnedDetroit Free Press, February 14th
Mark Howe was there to support former Red Wings center Sergei Fedorov as he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame at the MotorCity Casino on Thursday night. Howe, 59, son of Wings Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, applauded Fedorov, whom ...Read more
Gordie Howe HonoredESPN, February 6th
And in the end, as the crowd in his hometown rose as one to celebrate one of the greatest athletes of all time, we should have expected nothing less from Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe. "He knew what was going on. I could see it in his eyes," Hall of Famer...Read more
Gordie Howe, health improving, honored by hockey greatsThe Detroit News, February 6th
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — Wayne Gretzky figures there is no photograph fans ask him to sign more often than the one of him as a smiling preteen beside Gordie Howe, who is playfully hooking a hockey stick around youngster's neck. "Every time I look at ...Read more
LOOK: Gordie Howe makes first public appearance since strokeCBSSports.com, February 6th
Gordie Howe is making his first public appearance since suffering a stroke in October. (Getty Images). Not even five months removed from what family members termed a “significant” stroke, Gordie Howe made his first public appearance. Mr. Hockey made...Read more
Video shows Gordie Howe's miraculous recoveryWDIV Detroit, February 3rd
BUT NOW YOU WILL SEE HOW GORDIE HOWE IS FIGHTING BACK AND LEARN HOW A TREATMENT IN MEXICO CHANGED EVERYTHING. TO ME IT IS ALMOST LIKE THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. TONIGHT MR. HOCKEY IS ON THE MEND. IT WOULD ...Read more
Did Stem Cells Save Gordie Howe?New York Magazine, January 30th
If you want an inspiring modern medical-miracle story, the family of Gordie Howe — a.k.a. Mr. Hockey, one of the greatest NHL players of all time — has got one for you. The 86-year-old Howe suffered a stroke in October, and for the following two...Read more