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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Today in Philadelphia Flyers History: Clarke, Tocchet Gordie Howe hat tricks ...Broad Street Hockey (blog), November 23rd
1974 -- Bobby Clarke notched a Gordie Howe hat trick as the LCB Line stormed out of the gates in a 6-3 triumph over Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens. Clarke scored the game's opening goal, assisted on the second (scored by Reggie Leach), then fought Rod ...Read more
REID: Like one of his punches, Gordie Howe made indelible impactPress-Enterprise, November 21st
As much as anything, Gordie Howe remains the childhood hero to that part of us that never really grows up, that can never let go of the game; a hockey god sprung to life on the frozen ponds of Canadian mythology like those Peter Gzowski described in ...Read more
Gordie Howe's Career Defined By Toughness, Pure Hockey Ability (Photos)NESN.com, November 20th
According to his son, the former Detroit Red Wing and Hartford Whaler known as “Mr. Hockey” isn't doing so well these days after suffering his second stroke. Renowned for being one of the toughest players in NHL history, though, Howe was as skilled as...Read more
Keith Olbermann delivers ode to Gordie HoweDetroit Free Press, November 19th
Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, 86, is struggling with his health right now, and ESPN talk-show host Keith Olbermann recently delivered one of the best celebrations of Mr. Hockey that we have heard. Check it out, from his show "Olbermann." Funny...Read more
Gordie Howe Has Another StrokeNew York Times, November 16th
The family of the Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe said he had “taken a turn for the worse” after suffering another stroke. Mark Howe said his father's most recent stroke occurred about a week ago in Lubbock, Tex., where the elder Howe, 86, a former...Read more
When Red Wings Are on the Ice, Minds Are on Gordie HoweNew York Times, November 4th
OTTAWA — Gordie Howe is in Texas recovering from a stroke and fighting the effects of dementia. But wherever the Detroit Red Wings go these days, he is with them. On Tuesday, they were in Ottawa to play the Senators, and alongside the workaday topics ...Read more
Watch this: Gordie Howe watches Wings fans salute himDetroit Free Press, November 1st
This is wonderful. In case you missed it, the Detroit Red Wings and their fans took a moment Friday at Joe Louis Arena to show support for Gordie Howe as he recovers from a serious stroke this week, including a chant of "GORDIE! GORDIE!" during a break...Read more
Gordie Howe recovering after severe strokeDetroit Free Press, October 28th
Gordie Howe — the hockey legend and giant among Detroit sports figures — has suffered a severe stroke that has his family rushing to his bedside in Lubbock, Texas. "I feel like this is his final lap around the rink," Murray Howe, one of Gordie's...Read more