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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McCarron's Gordie Howe hat trickHabs Eyes on the Prize (blog), March 28th
McCarron's Gordie Howe hat trick. 4. posted by Marc Dumont on Mar 28, 2015. It was an eventful night for McCarron, as he scored a goal and an assist during Oshawa's 7-2 drubbing of Peterborough ...Read more
Flashback: Mid-game accident left Gordie Howe close to deathDetroit Free Press, March 21st
Detroit Red Wings star Gordie Howe suffered a near-fatal injury after he tried to slam into Toronto Maple Leafs captain Ted (Teeder) Kennedy during the opening game of the playoffs at Olympia Stadium on March 28, 1950. Howe crashed into the boards ...Read more
Jordin Tootoo's Gordie Howe Hat Trick Paces Devils Over CoyotesPucks and Pitchforks, March 14th
The New Jersey Devils are the most inconsistent team I've ever seen. Tonight, to start the game against the Arizona Coyotes, the Devils looked like they didn't belong on the same sheet of ice. They were taking a beating and only Cory Schneider could...Read more
Alumni hockey game stirs up memories of Gordie Howe for former Muskegon ...MLive.com, March 14th
"I'm waiting for a faceoff and Gordie Howe is standing there," Stephenson said. "It's halfway through the second period and he said, "isn't it something kid?" I said, what's that Mr. Howe? He said we've got 20 guys on the bench and I've got to play a...Read more
Sunday Gravy: Quinnipiac honors the resilient Gordie HoweTorrington Register Citizen, March 14th
Former Whaler Gordie Howe was honored by Quinnipiac Saturday night at High Point Solutions Arena. Howe was the honorary chairman of the committee that raised funds to build the venue. Howe will turn 87 this month and has made what his son Marty ...Read more
50 Years Ago in Hockey - Gordie Shows Howe It's DoneThe Hockey Writers, March 11th
Gordie Howe showed last night why he is still considered the best hockey player on the planet as he scored twice to lead the Detroit Red Wings past Toronto 4-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Gordie Howe, still dominant at 37. The 37-year-old superstar is...Read more
Cold facts: Kulikov gets Gordie Howe hat trick, but Stars come out on top in ...Dallas Morning News, March 5th
Mar 5, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie (11) fights with Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports ...Read more
Hockey legend Gordie Howe's recovery highlights stem-cell advancesToledo Blade, February 28th
Hockey legend Gordie Howe's star power is raising awareness in the United States and Canada about advances in stem-cell therapies as he continues what is being called a “miraculous” recovery from a massive stroke. Those closest to him, including his...Read more