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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Top Line: Fixing Canada's goaltending; the next Gordie Howe; more linksSI.com, December 7th
You've probably never heard Patrick Marleau mentioned in the same breath as Gordie Howe, but the way things are lining up, you may hear it a lot before long. • Gary Lawless calls out a group of five players he names the Atlanta Association for being...Read more
Two Gordie Howe hat tricks in Devils' 6-4 win over SpringfieldSchenectady Gazette (blog), December 5th
Gordie Howe hat tricks are rare enough, but a small crowd at the Albany Devils game on Wednesday was treated to a pair of them in a 6-4 win over the Northeast Division-leading Springfield Falcons. There hadn't been much going on before a fight between ...Read more
Bruins vs. Blue Jackets Recap: Almost Gordie Howe! Lucic Scores 2, Bruins win ...Stanley Cup of Chowder, November 30th
Two teams coming off back-to-back games is almost always a recipe for a slow night, but the Bruins actually managed to take advantage of Columbus tonight. The Jackets were sent packing, only managing 14 shots on goal the entire game and very little...Read more
VIDEO: Zdeno Chara's 'Gordie Howe hat trick' highlights Bruins winCBSSports.com, November 29th
On Black Friday, Zdeno Chara seemed happy to take on the role as the bad guy as far as the New York Rangers were concerned. All dressed in black, sporting an appropriate black eye from an earlier game and playing his typical rugged style of defense, ...Read more
Gordie Howe's Son : A Hall Of Fame Life In The Shadow Of Mr. HockeyUtica Observer Dispatch (blog), November 23rd
Gordie Howe's Son : A Hall of Fame Life in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey is a personalized, in-depth, detail oriented memoir of Mark Howe. Sports fans reading the life passages , from a family member's perspective, of his highly influential parents is a...Read more
Jaromir Jagr ties Mario Lemieux in career goals, Gordie Howe in game-winners ...Yahoo Sports (blog), November 21st
It was Jagr's ninth goal of the season, and his fourth goal in four games for the Devils. It's his 18th career OT goal in the NHL, the most in League history. More importantly, it finally tied him with Gordie Howe for the NHL lead for career game...Read more
Today in Philadelphia Flyers history: Beranek Gordie Howe hat trick, Stamkos ...Philly.com, November 18th
The game-winning marker gave Beranek goals in four consecutive contests and 17 for the season, before the 24-year-old Czech added an assist on a Recchi goal and fought Pat Verbeek during the third period to complete a Gordie Howe hat trick...Read more
Gordie Howe Hat Tricks: 11 so far in ECHLAnchorage Daily News, November 17th
Alaska Aces winger David Eddy was all over the ice Saturday night at Sullivan Arena, taking care of business on a number of fronts in a 5-2 win over Las Vegas, and his goal, assist and fighting major delivered the club's first Gordie Howe Hat Trick of...Read more